Veteran’s service animal may be saved

Sen Alan Olsen_thb

Sen. Alan Olsen

Salem, OR – A bill to save a lynx, currently serving as a service animal for an Oregon City Marine veteran, was voted out of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday. Senate Bill 1584 now moves to the Senate floor for consideration.

“This bill is about giving back to someone who has given a lot for his country,” said Senator Alan Olsen (R-Canby), who sponsored the bill for his constituent Patrick Clark, a veteran of Somalia and Desert Storm. “Sosha the lynx has been with Patrick Clark through a lot, and we want to make sure she can be with him for a long time more.”

A law passed in 2009 made it illegal to own many wild animals in Oregon. Patrick Clark has owned Sosha, a 16-year-old lynx, since she was 10 days old. She is a physician classified service animal and helps Clark with his post-traumatic stress disorder.

Olsen introduced SB 1584 for the February legislative session, which if adopted would allow Clark to seek a permit from the Department of Agriculture and to keep lynx.

Olsen and his wife Juanita make their home in Canby.  Olsen is a veteran of the United States Army, serving from 1969 to 1971. He is a general contractor and small business owner building homes and structures across Oregon. Senate District 20 includes Canby, Oregon City, Damascus, Estacada and rural parts of Clackamas County.