For many dog lovers, it is not surprising to see pooch owners treat their dogs like their own human children. And it is truly moving to discover that a lawful body will agree to this love for dogs.
The Oregon Supreme Court announced a landmark ruling on dogs being compared to a child. This was placed on as decision to the case of a suffering dog named Juno.
Knowing The Case Of June
The case of the anorexic Juno started in 2010 owned by Amanda Newcomb, a resident of Portland. An animal cruelty investigator discovered the poor dog in such a devastating condition describing the pet being super thin. The owner reasoned out that she just ran out of dog food and that she already has plans of buying some that night.
When Juno was brought to the quarters of the Oregon Humane Society, the dog’s body score after being checked out by a veterinarian, was a 1.5 with 1 being emaciated on the scale level. The main cause was malnutrition and the owner was charged with animal neglect in second degree.
During the trial, the owner made the argument that Juno is considered her property. The defendant that the search was illegal and warrantless. However, the prosecutor compared it to checking out a child who is allegedly going through some form of abuse. It was agreed on by the trial court and Juno’s owner was convicted.
The Court of Appeals reversed the decision upon finding out that the Oregon Humane Society who handled Juno’s case was required of a warrant. But the Oregon Supreme Court re-established the ruling of the trial court that the warrantless blood draw was not barred under any law in Oregon or even in the US Constitution.
Dogs As Sentient Beings
The final decision on the case of Juno was based on the Oregon Supreme Court recognizing that animals, like dogs, belong to a special category. This status is somewhere in between the human individuals and non-living properties.
“Reflected in those and other laws that govern ownership and treatment of animals is the recognition that animals ‘are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain, stress and fear..”
“That conclusion follows with equal or greater force when, as here, the dog is in the state’s lawful protective custody on probable cause that the dog is suffering injury as a result of neglect, at which point the owner has lost her property rights of dominion and control over the dog.”
Oregon Supreme Court Legal Document, State v. Newcomb
A Cause For Celebration
The Oregon Humane Society expressed their happiness for the victory in their blog, acknowledging that the final ruling has certainly eradicated a huge hump to numerous investigations on animal cruelty.
This ruling applies not only for dogs but also other animals that are discovered and proven to be victims of abuse and neglect.
Yes, pets, such as dogs, are properties, rendering their owners several rights over them. But with the law in Oregon, pets are considered more than just properties but significant living things, who must be provided with care. And that accountability falls on the hands of the owner or any individual who has control over the pets.
No to animal cruelty!