For whatever reason, I have encountered many stray dogs since moving to Bend. During the most recent encounter, I waited with the dog for an hour, hoping the owner would come looking. Instead, it was animal control. I could have let the dog go in the parking garage while teenagers raced the Autobahn, but chose to hang out and ensure a safe outcome. Having spent several hours in this situation, with several very sweet dogs, these are my comments:
To the City of Bend,
The $520 fine for a stray dog in the city limits is hyper excessive, especially in these economic times. This will only ensure that owners with limited funding will likely not claim their dogs from the shelter. What is likely to happen is these dogs, most of which have been older dogs, will not get a chance at adoption. Why not a fine and community service combo? Or some other options for those who may not have the funds, but still want their dog back? I fully agree there needs to be a penalty, but $520?!
To the irresponsible pet owners whose dogs I am spending so much time with,
A current dog tag will cost you less than $10. With that tag, I can actually call you instead of animal control. You can come and pick up your dog, and get a few choice words from me, rather than face leaving your dog at the shelter because you can't, or won't, afford the fine. In addition, stop taking up other people's time with your irresponsibility. I care enough not to let your dog get hit by a car or cause an accident; you should be doing the same.
Two of the dogs are still waiting at the Humane Society of Central Oregon. Both have been there for weeks.
– Steph Spencer, Bend