New Licensing Program for Animal Rescue Entities

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New Licensing Program for
Animal Rescue Entities Begins July 1

June 1, 2020

Dear prospective licensee:

You are receiving this email because we have reason to believe you operate under the definition of an Animal Rescue Entity (ARE) within the state of Oregon and we would like to inform you of the new licensing program at the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

In 2019, Senate Bill 883 reassigned the authority of inspecting and licensing ARE's from the county to the state level, giving the State Veterinarian’s office at the Oregon Department of Agriculture, enforcement responsibility. The intent and purpose of the ARE Program is to ensure all ARE's comply with the same record keeping and licensing requirements to ensure the safety of the animals within their care and provide consistency within the animal rescue network.

An Animal Rescue Entity (ARE) is defined as:

  • An individual or organization that keeps, houses and maintains in its legal custody 10 or more animals. The animals may be physically located at a facility operated by the entity or kept, housed or maintained elsewhere (including foster facilities).
  • Including but not limited to an animal control agency, humane society, animal shelter, animal sanctuary or boarding kennel.
  • Excluding veterinary facilities and facilities subject to ORS 167.374 (ie. possession or control of dogs for the purpose of reproduction).
  • And that solicits or accepts donations in any form.

While ODA's rules are currently under review for approval, we have included the section below in order to prepare you for the inspection process. Please understand these are not final and are subject to change. (ODA = Department)

(4) Department will review applications using the following process:

  1. The Department will process complete license applications on a first come, first served basis.
  2. Prior to the Department’s issuance of a license the enforcing agency shall conduct an inspection of any portion(s) of the animal rescue entity that it determines reasonably appropriate. The inspection shall allow the Department to determine if the animal rescue entity is compliant with the following:

(i) Indoor facilities as per OAR 603-015-0040;

(ii) Outdoor facilities as per OAR 603-015-0045;

(iii) Health and husbandry practices as per OAR 603-015-0050;

(iv) Record keeping as per OAR 603-015-0060 and ORS 609.415 including importation documents if animals are acquired from an out-of-state or international source; and

(v) Any other applicable laws or regulations.

  1. The Department may require follow up documentation from the animal rescue entity following the enforcing agency’s inspection to determine compliance with the laws laid out in subpart (b) of this party (4).
  2. The Department shall not issue a license if:

(i) The application is incomplete;

(ii) The animal rescue entity failed to pay the license application fee;

(iii) The animal rescue entity did not allow an inspection as required by subpart (b) of this part (4);

(iv) The animal rescue entity did not provide follow up documentation requested;

(v) The animal rescue entity is out of compliance with any of the provisions laid out in subpart (b) of this part (4); or

(vi) Any other provision of law precludes the Department from issuing a license.

Beginning July 1, 2020, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) will require Animal Rescue Entities to obtain a license in order to conduct business. 

  • A license year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year.
  • To begin the licensing process for your ARE please mail a completed application and the annual licensing fee to the ODA licensing program.
  • The annual licensing fee is $584.00, this fee is not prorated. As the program evolves, and we gain a better understanding of the number of AREs within Oregon, the price may be re-evaluated.
  • The ARE licensing application is online.

The ARE licensing rules above indicate an inspection is required prior to license approval, however due to the recent impacts from COVID-19, licenses during the first year may be issued prior to a completed inspection. A license that is issued prior to a completed inspection will be contingent upon meeting the record keeping and licensing requirements at the time of inspection. If deficiencies are indicated, ARE's may be issued a Plan of Correction indicating a period of time for the ARE to become compliant with the licensing requirements.

We appreciate your cooperation during the new licensing process. If you believe you have received this letter by mistake please email our office,, for further clarification, to be removed from the mailing list, or to update your contact information.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions, concerns or if we may be of service to you and your business. We appreciate the work that you do to care for these animals and we are committed to working with you during this process.


Ashley Lively Kuenzi
Animal Rescue Entity Coordinator
Oregon Department of Agriculture
(971) 388-4371

Animal Rescue Entity License Application