Stop Oregon from Towing Vehicles with Pets

Target: Oregon Department of Transportation

Goal: Make it illegal to tow a vehicle with a pet inside.

The Oregon Department of Transportation currently allows vehicles with pets inside to be towed. In such cases the animal will either be taken to animal control or held at the impound lot where the owner can make an appointment to reclaim both the pet and the vehicle. However, it is often a day, or even days, before an appointment can be made. This places undue stress on the owner and pet, and shows a complete lack of respect for the well being of the animal.

This subject recently made headline news when a Tualatin woman’s golden retriever was taken. After being gone for not more than ten minutes, she returned to the private lot where she parked to find both her car and her dog missing. Since then the number of complaints have steadily increased, especially within the city of Portland. Private towing companies have even received significant criticism over the past year for predatory towing, that is, for intentionally refusing to look for the owner of the pet because the towing company would subsequently lose money after notifying the owner that their car was about to be towed.

Punishing the pet because of the momentary carelessness of the owner is unacceptable and something must be done to stop it before any serious harm comes to these animals. Both private towing companies and the Oregon Department of Transportation should either be required to look for the owner of the pet before towing the vehicle or provide a heavier fine to vehicles with pets inside rather than towing them. A quick internet search will reveal that this isn’t an isolated situation. It has become a common occurrence across the country. What better way to set an example than within the pet-friendly state of Oregon?


Dear Oregon Department of Transportation,

The way that animals are being treated by the city and private towing companies is unacceptable. Hauling our loved ones away with our cars as though they were nothing more than part of the vehicle itself shows a complete lack of respect for the welfare of pets in the state of Oregon. A minor infraction such as briefly parking in a private lot should not risk the life or well-being of an animal, nor should a momentary lapse in judgment on the part of the owner have such serious consequences for their pets.

I urge you to pass legislation that would provide protection for animals in vehicles that might be towed such as requiring the city or the towing company to seek out the owner beforehand or increasing fines for vehicles which cannot be towed because an animal is present. Please take action before serious harm is done.


[Your Name Here]

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