City & Government, Community, Cottage Grove

Over 90 animals rescued from Dorena property

DORENA – A seizure of at least 92 animals were rescued from a Dorena property earlier this week.

Lane County Animal Services (LCAS) – alongside Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Greenhill Humane Society (GHS), Willamette Horse Outreach Alliance (WHOA), and H&H Veterinary Care (H&H) – on June 3 seized a variety of animals from a property in the 75000 block of Wicks. The animals included: poultry, parrots, peahens, horses, miniature horses, goats, dogs, cats, cattle, and several species of birds.


Tiffany Morris, who resides on the property, was found guilty of 14 Class B Animal Neglect violations by the Lane County Justice Court. This ruling required Morris to surrender all animals on the property to LCAS, and she is also prohibited from possessing any animals for five years.

According to Lane County public information officer Devon Ashbridge, LCAS has been aware of Morris for several years and had attempted to pursue cases with her before to “varying degrees of success.” This case against Morris began last December, and LCAS asked the judge for the largest penalty possible under county code, which Morris received in March.

Ashbridge emphasized that LCAS is not a criminal investigative unit; it is responsible for enforcing county code.

“It was determined that it would be quicker to pursue code violations instead of criminal charges in this case because the goal was to get the animals to a safe place,” Ashbridge said.

The most recent comparable seizure of animals in Lane County was in 2019 when almost 70 horses were seized from a property outside Creswell, according to Ashbridge.

“There were fewer in numbers, but much larger animals,” she said. “Seizures of this size are uncommon. But it’s still occasionally necessary, sadly.”

“If people are willing to work with us, we’d much rather take the education route,” Ashbridge said. “When you get people, like in this case, who continue to willfully neglect animals over and over and over, that’s different. At that point, we will pursue a legal remedy for that.”


Morris has a history of animal neglect complaints and of refusing to cooperate with authorities to improve the health of her animals, and she did not cooperate during the removal of the animals earlier this week.

According to GHS director of operations Sasha Elliott, the dogs and cats rescued from Morris’ property were immediately brought back to GHS, while the livestock were brought to Lane Events Center to establish their veterinary and behavioral needs and assess which animals may make good foster or adoption candidates.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking, the conditions we found these animals in, but the team did an incredible job safely, compassionately addressing each animal’s needs and transporting them here to make further assessments to identify what their needs are and get them on the path toward healing and loving homes,” Elliott said.

Almost every seized animal was severely underweight, and some of the livestock had overgrown hooves as well.

Merritt gave the Pinto horse a three out of nine as a body score – the ideal score being five or six – because her hooves were quite overgrown, and it was apparent how underweight she was just based on how pronounced her bones were. Similarly, the Holstein bull’s hip bone was eerily visible to a degree it shouldn’t have been.

And according to Ashbridge, the state of Morris’ property was also “in poor condition to provide adequate space for livestock. There was very little grass left in the pastures, limited (if any) access to clean water, garbage, lots of mud, conditions that just aren’t suitable for animals – especially animals of this number.”

According to H&H Dr. Sharleen Henery, almost every animal should make a full recovery. 


Community members who are called to help these animals are asked to contribute monetarily to GHS or WHOA. Both nonprofits will be handling vet bills as well as finding homes for the animals.

According to Amanda Muse, WHOA cofounder, WHOA “will be handling the vet and carrier care for the equines, and we’re assisting and homing some of the birds. Greenhill will be accepting donations for birds and domestic animals.”

Elliott said people can support GHS through cash donations, which go the furthest to help provide medical care and feed the animals, as well as volunteering and/or fostering animals. She said all three are incredibly appreciated and will ultimately go toward helping animals that “so desperately need the community’s help right now.”

Common ways to assess if an animal is being neglected are checking if they’re underweight and/or don’t have access to water – really “just anything that raises the hair on the back of your neck,” according to Merritt.

She added that people can always call LCAS with questions, and LCAS can provide information and/or go out and assess the situation. In order to investigate, LCAS must have firsthand reports of potential violations of abuse or neglect, though, and it can’t use social media posts as firsthand reports.

“This is the animal version of, ‘If you see something, say something.’ If you see an animal that you suspect is underweight, or its hooves aren’t being cared for, or it’s got an injury or a wound that doesn’t appear to be receiving treatment, please make a direct report so we can investigate,” Ashbridge said. “It makes a huge difference that saves the lives of animals.”



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