Animal Protection Team Receives Collaboration Award
Sponsored by: District Attorney Department, Criminal Prosecution Division
On Thursday, June 13, 2013 the Washington County Animal Protection Multi-Disciplinary Team was awarded the prestigious Cameron Award for the best community collaboration in Washington County.
The MDT addresses the interaction between animal abuse and other kinds of violence, such as domestic violence and child abuse. Deputy District Attorney Andrew Freeman, the co-chair of the MDT, said "Our goal is to break the cycle of abuse and make sure that people who are committing these crimes are brought to justice."
MDT members include Washington County Animal Services, Washington County District Attorney’s Office, Domestic Violence Resource Center, Beaverton and Hillsboro Police Departments, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Aid, The Little Dog Laughed animal-assisted therapy program, Oregon Department of Human Services, Washington County Juvenile Services Department, and others.
With the MDT, Washington County has experienced unprecedented success in prosecuting animal crimes. In the past year, more than 20 cases have been filed, the conviction rate has been 100 percent, and more than half the offenders spent time in jail. In addition, Washington County's only domestic violence shelter has become pet-friendly, and, if a domestic violence victim does not go to a shelter, there is now a safe haven for pets through the The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter or one of the MDT's partnering nonprofits.