County reminds residents help is available for struggling pet owners
VANCOUVER – A Portland woman has confessed to abandoning her dog at a Clark County park on the night of Aug. 6, according to Clark County Animal Protection and Control. Nearby residents caught the act on their security camera and held onto the Labrador Retriever until help arrived.
Local nonprofit, I Paw’d It Forward, handles animal-related emergencies while county offices are closed and responded to transport the dog to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. I Paw’d It Forward reported the apparent abandonment to Animal Control and posted the security footage on social media.
Tips from the public led Animal Control officers to Maria Bruce, 63, of Portland.
Bruce came in voluntarily to discuss the circumstances that caused her to drop off 13-year-old Henry and then drive away. According to Bruce, she could not keep Henry and believed she had run out of options.
Henry’s story quickly became a social media sensation and offers to adopt the senior dog flooded into the Humane Society. President Stacey Graham shared, “We are happy to report that Henry has been staying with a wonderful foster family and has adjusted well. We are heartened by so many from across the globe who have been interested in Henry’s story. Our shelter and hundreds across the country take in lost, abandoned and neglected dogs, like Henry, every day. We thank everyone for caring about Henry and believe that he will soon be meeting his new family.”
Abandonment is a form of animal cruelty under Clark County Code. Bruce has been cooperative throughout the investigation and agreed to sign a Confession of Judgement, in lieu of criminal charges. As part of the settlement, Bruce must pay fines and reimburse the county for the cost of Henry’s care. She also agreed to not own any dogs for two years.
Animal Protection and Control reminds pet owners that help is available for those in need. Anyone struggling to keep or care for a pet should reach out to their local animal shelters and rescue groups. “Our animals trust us and depend on us for their survival,” says program manager, Susan Anderson. “If rehoming is the only option, pet owners have a responsibility to do so humanely, so as to not betray that trust.”
For more information on Clark County Animal Protection and Control visit https://www.clark.wa.gov/community-development/animals-and-pets
Information provided by Clark Co. WA Communications.