Lee Bartholomew started his career with Douglas County, Oregon in November of 1990. Since then Lee’s dedicated service has been the main stay and foundation of Animal Control in Douglas County, which spans more than 5000 square miles. Lee handles an average of 2000 calls for service a year, dealing with complaints and investigations throughout Douglas County. As the only Animal Control Deputy, Lee has become extremely resourceful and has fostered great working relationships with several other agencies within the County. Lee deals with everything from the barking dog complaints to animal cruelty cases and everything in between.
In 2013, during the execution of the search warrant where over 70 cats were seized (others had already perished from pathetic conditions they were kept in). That same year, Lee assisted in drafting and co-authoring a felony animal neglect law. The law would affect sentencing guidelines and require a ban on owning not only domestic animals, but also “livestock” or exotic animals after conviction. The legislation would also elevate the neglect of an animal to a felony charge—which carries a harsher sentence—if a person has previously been convicted. Lee testified before the Oregon State Senate about the benefits of this law to law enforcement and the citizens of Oregon. This type of genuine concern for the profession and striving to implement tools to assist the law enforcement community speaks volumes for Lee’s unwavering dedication to his job and the love he shares for the animals he has dedicated his life to protect.
Lee spends a great deal of his personal time volunteering in his community to assist animal owners who are in need. Regularly, Lee and other volunteers build fences for those who can’t afford it. Lee continues to be active with the Oregon Animal Control Council and is currently the vice president on their board. After more than two decades, Lee continues to be the front line in rescuing sick and injured animals and ultimately aiding in the successful prosecution of abusers.