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The dog was in fair condition, but relations between his owners and their former landlord are not

SUBMITTED PHOTO: M.P. - Carter, a blue-tick hound, was found Jan. 1 in Mulino after being missing from Canby for two months.

A dog that had reportedly been missing from the Canby area for two months was found last Monday in Mulino; but the details of how the dog went missing are jumbled amidst a dispute between a property owner and tenants in which each party accuses the other of crimes.

On Oct. 29, 2017, the dog, Carter, a male blue-tick hound, went missing from an Aurora property along with two cats, Midget and Max, when berry farmer Prakopiy Cam allegedly hauled a trailer away from his property with the pets still inside.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: PRAKOPIY CAM - Pictured is the trailer that Cam hauled away from his property on Oct. 29.

The pets belong to the former tenants of the trailer, Brandon Perkins and his wife, who asked to be referred to as M.P. The couple's infant child also lived with them in the trailer, a home they secured through a work-for-rent trade with Cam.

Carter was found in fair condition near Mulino on Jan. 1, but the cats are reportedly still missing. Carter had low body weight and cuts and wounds on his ears, mouth, tongue and front legs, according to M.P., who took him to a veterinarian on Jan. 4 after his return. The veterinarian believes that Carter had been somewhat cared for while he was away rather than running loose. Carter had a microchip implanted at his appointment.

"He is now on the road to recovery and getting back to his old happy self more and more every day," M.P. said.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: M.P. - Carter was found in fair condition. He had low body weight and cuts and wounds on his ears, mouth, tongue and front legs, according to M.P., who took him to a veterinarian on Jan. 4 after his return.

The reunification was made possible largely thanks to stolen pets advocate Terry Fletcher, the founder of KONA Alert. She started KONA Alert in honor of Oregon dog Kona, who went missing in April 2016 when his owner's car was stolen and was found dead in the car days later. Fletcher now uses social media to spread the word about stolen pets. She typically requires a police report before putting out an alert. In this case, the police report was filed the same day.

"I'm very very very particular about getting that police report number, knowing that there is actual evidence of theft," Fletcher said. "But I'm going to take somebody's word. These owners had no reason, no reason at all, they're not benefitting at all from accusing this guy. There was no money exchanged hands in that situation at all. He worked for him, they got a place to stay. That was it. They have no reason to lie about this, and he has every reason to lie about this."

Under Oregon law, animal theft is a felony offense. But police say this is a civil case because it involves a landlord-tenant dispute.

The incident of Cam pulling the trailer away occurred after the relationship between Cam and the tenants had become strained, according to both parties.

M.P. said that everything started when Cam wanted to push the family into a different trailer that was worse off than the one they were living in. They reportedly refused and asked instead for a 30-day notice.

"So that made [Cam] really, really angry—angry to the point where he was even in our living space and he was just sitting there ranting and raving for about an hour," M.P. said.

Instead of a 30-day notice, she said that about a week later he served them eviction papers, but not in their names.

The situation culminated on Oct. 29. The police were called, but it is unclear who called them.

M.P. said the family had packed most of their things into storage and that day were gathering their last few items from the trailer and from an apartment above the garage that they had access to. Then after the police left, M.P. said Cam rushed past her in his truck as she was walking to the trailer with her baby in her arms, and he backed his truck into the area where the trailer was parked.

"I knew that he was going to do something crazy because he had never backed into that area before," M.P. said.

Cam hitched the trailer to his truck, and M.P. said he rolled down the window, cursed and threatened to let the animals starve.

"I had one foot inside with my son in one arm and the dog leash in the other, and I basically chose to jump out of the trailer because I knew at that point it was not safe to be in there with my son," M.P. said.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: PRAKOPIY CAM - Pictured is the trailer that Cam hauled away from his property on Oct. 29.Police found the trailer a week later on South Molalla Forest Road in a private, locked, fenced field, according to Fletcher. But the pets weren't inside.

Cam's account of that day when he pulled the trailer away, and the events leading up to it, differ from M.P.'s.

Cam said the couple initially told him they had their own trailer to park on his property in exchange for landscaping work, but soon found that they didn't have one. However, because they had an infant, Cam said, he allowed them to stay in his friend's trailer on the property, under conditions that it be kept clean and no pets lived in the trailer.

"There was no trailer," Cam said. "That was just all blowing smoke just to get his foot in the door, so to speak, and then just make his move from there. They're professionals, they do this for a living. That's what they do: they wreak havoc. They go from place to place, and when they go and get stuff, they get kicked out, and then they move on to the next victim."

Cam said he originally only gave them access to the trailer and not any part of the house as M.P. asserted. He claims that one week when he left town, the couple broke into his house and that when he confronted them, Perkins told him that Cam had to give them 30 days to move out of the trailer.

According to Cam, in the days that followed that confrontation, the couple sabotaged him in a number of ways including leaving the shower on in the upstairs apartment for hours. Cam said Perkins threatened to burn the trailer down and accused Perkins of assaulting him. According to Cam, all of this pushed him to take drastic measures and remove the trailer from his property. But he said he did not believe there were animals inside.

Perkins, who had been away from the property, returned as Cam was driving away and he tried to stop Cam.

"His demeanor, it was scary," Cam said of Perkins. "I just feared for my life…we were all terrified. When the cops were there, he was already gone. He eluded. So, they took down the report and everything, and immediately after they left, I went and got the trailer. When I hooked up the trailer, I looked in there. My brother looked in there. There was nothing in the trailer. Nothing whatsoever. So I hooked up the trailer, and off I went. I was out of there, and he tried to confront me, I ditched him as fast as I could. I didn't want him following me."

Cam said he parked the trailer on his friend's property and that it was filthy, contained drug paraphernalia, stolen goods and other incriminating items.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: PRAKOPIY CAM - Pictured is the inside of the trailer after Cam had hauled it from his property. The two cat kennels can be seen in the center.

Both Perkins and M.P. have pleaded guilty to theft in the past, court records show. Perkins's criminal record spans from 2001 to 2017 and involves guilty pleas to theft, assault and criminal trespassing. Court records also reveal prior landlord-tenant disputes and small claims against Perkins. He was arrested on Dec. 28, 2017 in Marion County for theft in the first degree for an alleged offense on Sept. 9, 2017.

Cam's legal history involves conducting his business largely in cash including paying his workers in cash and making false statements on bankruptcy documents, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Both Cam and the couple are threatening to take legal action against each other. Fletcher is helping Perkins and M.P. raise money to take Cam to civil court. Meanwhile, Cam has filed police reports for criminal mischief and assault.

"I wish someone else had done what I'm doing right now…is expose them, because I tell you there's just a mountain of evidence," Cam said.

He added, "These people, they're criminals and they're con artists."

M.P.'s primary concern is finding her cats. Anyone who believes they have sighted the cats can visit the KONA Alert Facebook page or call 971-444-KONA.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: M.P. - Max, a 10-year-old brown tabby, is still missing. Anyone who believes they have sighted the cats can visit the KONA Alert Facebook page or call 971-444-KONA.

SUBMITTED PHOTO: M.P. - Midget, a 12-year-old orange tabby, is still missing. Anyone who believes they have sighted the cats can visit the KONA Alert Facebook page or call 971-444-KONA.


Kristen Wohlers
Reporter
503-829-2301
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