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Deputy District Attorney Jake Kamins ’09, the prosecutor who protects animals

December 03, 2014

  • Deputy District Attorney Jake Kamins. Image courtesy the Willamette Week.

This story was published December 3, 2014, in the Willamette Week.

For decades, William Holdner raised cattle west of Portland in Columbia County—as many as 2,000 at a time. But in 2012, he let his cows starve.

In a four-month period, records show, Holdner summoned a rendering company to pick up 45 cows from his properties. The crew found bony, emaciated and diseased cows. Most of the cattle were dead when the rendering company arrived. Some had to be shot.

The Columbia County district attorney charged Holdner, now 88, with 95 counts of animal cruelty.

Across the state, district attorneys have had to face difficult choices when considering animal abuse cases. DAs are elected officials, and they know the public is outraged by cases such as Holdner’s. But animal cruelty cases are difficult and expensive, and they’re often low priorities.

Now Holdner and others like him have a new foe in Oregon: a baby-faced prosecutor whose sole job is pursuing animal abusers.

His name is Jake Kamins, and his business card—adorned with paw prints—reads: “State of Oregon Animal Cruelty Deputy District Attorney.”

Read the rest of the story in the Willamette Week.

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