Malamute-mix dogs running loose in Forest Park

Malamute-mix dogs running loose in Forest Park »Play Video
An animal services officer took this photo of a Malamute mix-breed dog in Forest Park before it ran away in March.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- If anyone knows Alaskan Malamutes, it's Ray Ramsey.

He's bred and trained them, mainly as sled dogs, for more than 40 years, even though he says they can be a challenge.

“Mainly, cause they're smart," Ramsey said. "They're smarter than I am.”

An animal services officer snapped a photo of a Malamute mix-breed dog in Forest Park before it ran away in March. A few days later, two more were shot and killed by an owner whose goats were attacked and killed on March 25.

One showed up at Travis Rigby's home on the edge of Forest Park. The animal stayed for more than a month.

“He just sort of hung out, stayed real close. We placed ads all over town - Craigslist, whatever - trying to find him a home," Rigby said.

That dog's now at Multnomah County Animal Services. It's the most recent of eight mix-breed Malamutes encountered around Forest Park during the past two months.

Animal Services hasn't figured out where the dogs came from.    

Ray Ramsey confirmed the dogs are part Malamute. He also believes the dogs were dumped in the park.

Ramsey gave up his breeder's license because of new, strict USDA regulations for dog breeders imposed in September, to crack down on internet puppy sales.

The regulations include thousands of dollars in fines for violations.

Ray Ramsey says the new rules will eventually require cement floors, heaters and air conditioning for breeding operation.

“It's gonna put every kennel, every small breeder in the nation out of business,” Ramsey said. “Over two thousand breeders are going to be dumping dogs.”

The dog being held at Multnomah County Animal Services is recovering from neutering surgery.

If Multnomah County can’t place the dog with an owner, an animal rescue group will do that.