18 frozen puppies intended as snake food seized in Oregon, sheriff says


Columbia County sheriff’s deputies in Oregon searched a house in Goble last Friday and found 18 frozen puppies allegedly being used as snake food, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the home after the sheriff’s office received a tip that the resident was freezing puppies, authorities said.

Goble is about 40 miles northwest of Portland.

The sheriff’s office confiscated the puppies’ remains. However, there is no law in Oregon that prohibits feeding dogs to other animals, an animal law expert told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “Oregon does not have a law specifically prohibiting the slaughter of dogs for food,” Joyce Tischler, a professor of animal law at Lewis & Clark Law School, wrote in an email.

Federal law makes it illegal to commercially slaughter dogs or cats for human consumption, she added. Animal cruelty is also illegal. “Depending on how the puppies were killed,” Tischler said, “there may be the potential for charges for cruelty.”

The sheriff’s office turned over the remains to the Oregon Humane Society’s Animal Crimes Forensic Center, where forensic veterinarians were working to determine the puppies’ cause of death, said humane society spokesperson Laura Klink.

Sheriff’s officials said deputies also found several live snakes in the home, including a common kingsnake that was turned over to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Common kingsnakes, which typically eat birds, frogs and small mammals, are prohibited from being kept as pets in Oregon unless they’ve been bred in captivity and have markings that are different from wild kingsnakes, said Beth Quillian, a spokesperson for the fish and wildlife department.

The common kingsnake is native to southwest Oregon and classified as protected wildlife in the state, Quillian wrote in an email, adding that the fish and wildlife department is likely to rehome the snake with a zoo or other accredited facility.

The sheriff’s office has not announced any arrests in the case and has not released the name of the home’s resident.