Articles Posted in Animal / Dog Law

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Defendant Amanda Newcomb was convicted of second-degree animal neglect after she failed to adequately feed her dog, Juno, resulting in his malnourishment. Before trial, defendant moved to suppress blood test results showing that Juno had no medical condition that would have caused him to be malnourished, which in turn indicated that Juno was malnourished because he was starving. Defendant argued that the state had violated both Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, and the Fourth Amendment to the federal Constitution by failing to obtain a warrant before testing the dog’s blood. The trial court denied the motion and allowed the state to introduce the test results during trial. Defendant appealed to the Court of Appeals, which agreed with defendant that she had a protected privacy interest in her dog’s blood that required the state to obtain a search warrant, unless the circumstances fit within an exception to the warrant requirement, and reversed. The Supreme Court concluded defendant had no privacy interest in the dog's blood under the State or federal constitutions, and reversed. View "Oregon v. Newcomb" on Justia Law

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Codefendants Fessenden and Dicke jointly owned a horse, which they kept on Dicke’s property. Dicke’s neighbors called the sheriff’s office to report that the horse appeared to be starving. An officer with specialized training in animal husbandry and in investigating animal cruelty was dispatched to investigate. In consolidated criminal appeals, the issue presented to the Supreme Court was whether the officer violated Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution or the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution when, without a warrant, he entered private property, seized the horse, and took the horse to a veterinarian. The Court concluded that the officer acted lawfully because he had probable cause to believe that defendants were committing the crime of animal neglect and reasonably believed, based on specific articulable facts, that immediate action was necessary to prevent further imminent harm to and the death of the horse. The Court affirmed the decisions of the Court of Appeals. View "Oregon v. Fessenden" on Justia Law