Dogs are considered property in the State of Oregon. Each county could be different on the time limit, but the general rule is a 30 day waiting period.
If you find a dog there's a 30 day waiting period before it can be legally yours.
If you find a dog, there are a couple of options that you can do:
*Keep the dog for 30 days
*Take the dog to the local animal shelter for your area (Polk county=Humane Society/Hope's Haven, Marion County=Marion County Dog Control, etc)
If you keep the dog, you HAVE to keep a hold of the dog for 30 days, or find someone who's willing to foster the dog until that time is up. During that time, you need to attempt to find the dog's owner.
If you find a dog, please do the following:
*REPORT IT TO MARION COUNTY DOG SHELTER OR YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL CONTROL
*Go to the vet to see if it's microchipped. If it is, contact the owner.
(If you get a hold of the owner and they don't want the dog anymore, go to the Humane Society and pick up a form that consents the action of giving up the dog to you)
If you cannot find a chip or the chip has outdated records, please do the following:
*Create a lost ad on Craigslist under Pets and Lost and Found both located under the Community Tab in the top left corner on the front page.
*Create Flyers and put them up in Vets offices, businesses, metal poles, etc
*Create a facebook page dedicated to that pet to help find the dog's owners.
*Post on every Facebook page you can think of
No matter how the dog was found, no matter if the dog was sold, within the 30 days, the dog is legally the original owner's dog.
The 30 days is to give the owner a chance to look for their lost dog and even if they weren't looking for them, but find them within the 30 days, regardless on who has the dog, the dog is still legally the original owner's. IF after the 30 days was up and the dog had already found a home, and the original owner tries to claim the dog, they would need to provide proof at that point that they had been searching for the dog. If they cannot provide this proof after the 30 days, then the dog is not legally theirs any longer.
Withholding the dog from an original owner within the 30 days of the dog being reported lost, is considered theft.
Keep this in mind when you find a dog. Report it, wait 30 days or turn it into the shelter. I hope this clears up some misunderstandings.
If you have any questions about this law, call Marion County Dog Shelter: (503) 588-5366