Puppies found in Newberg weren't actually abandoned, officials say
On the afternoon of Nov. 6, the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office received a call that five puppies were found by a private property owner on the outskirts of Newberg. The individual who found the group of puppies – which consisted of four German shepherds and a Great Pyrenees – turned them over to Homeward Bound Animal Shelter in McMinnville and claimed they were abandoned.
The story caught fire on social media as local news outlets reported on the abandoned puppies, with calls flooding into Homeward Bound from people interested in adopting them. But as the shelter and police officers examined the condition of the puppies, they found it hard to believe that they were abandoned, so they attempted to investigate their origins.
"When I was pursuing leads to determine who was responsible, I was contacted by an individual who doesn't live in Yamhill County who told a long story about acquiring the puppies," YCSO Sgt. Sam Elliott said. "They turned them over to a person who runs an animal rescue in Newberg and was going to assist them in finding homes for the puppies. That person turned out to be the original complainant and that individual confirmed to me that they fabricated the original story about the puppies being abandoned."
The individual that lied to police is not being charged with a crime, and their name was not released by YCSO to protect their privacy, but the behavior exhibited in this case is discouraged by local shelters and police. The time spent investigating the alleged abandonment could have been used to investigate the puppies' actual origins, Elliott said.
Elliott added that the individual's behavior doesn't fit the criminal statute for filing a false police report. The person in question, he said, was worried that the dogs might have been stolen and didn't want to play a part in that potential crime.
"We have since tried to explore whether or not we could find the original source of where these dogs came from," Elliott said. "Right now they're in a waiting period before they will be available for adoption through Homeward Bound."
The public should be able to adopt the five puppies after they receive necessary veterinary care and the waiting period is up. The four German shepherds are named Reed, Ruby, Trask and Harper, while the Great Pyrenees is named Tillie.
Sheriff Tim Svenson, according to a Facebook post, visited the puppies to check in with them and took a liking to Ruby. A photo of Svenson and Ruby is now the profile picture of the YCSO Facebook page and Elliott said he's not sure whether Svenson might be interested in adopting one of the pups.
Regardless, given the attention this case has received online, Elliott expects the puppies to be adopted quickly. He said the case also provides an important lesson to the public about what to do if they come into possession of lost, stolen or abandoned animals.
"People should know in general that if they ever find themselves in a situation where they have an animal that they can't care for, that they should contact the sheriff's office or Homeward Bound," Elliott said. "We'd rather be involved on the front end with taking care of the situation – whether it's puppies, a dog or cats – and not have to deal with a false report about where they got the dogs from."
For more information on the puppies as they become available for adoption, visit Homeward Bound's website at www.hbpets.org under the "adoptable pets" tab.
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