Appeals court says pets are ‘property’

And what about warrantless searches that went on for THREE Days before obtaining a warrant with nothing wrong?!? Animals that can not be seen from the road, no starving and sick animals,  receiving treatment if there was something wrong, plenty of supplies and no law broken!!!

People accused of owning a ‘puppy mill’ or hoarding’ animals-Texas creating ‘puppy mill’ laws to stop all breeding…Ohio ban on owning property…All exceeding the limitations for seizing a single animal!!!

What happens in Oregon or any other state for that matter, affects ALL states…

Appeals court says pets are ‘property’ as it throws out dog-starving conviction

The Oregon Court of Appeals Wednesday threw out the conviction of a 28-year-old woman found guilty of starving her dog based on evidence from a veterinarian who tested and treated the animal without a warrant.

The ruling could set a precedent by making it more difficult for animal-cruelty investigators to seek instantaneous care for beaten, starved or otherwise injured pets. And the ruling could make it tougher for prosecutors to go after people suspected of abusing or neglecting their animals.

In reversing the 2011 misdemeanor conviction of Amanda L. Newcomb, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals ruled that animals are living beings but they are also property under the eyes of the law. And that doesn’t trump their owners’ constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The case at issue began when an informant told the Oregon Humane Society that Portland-area resident Newcomb was beating her dog, failing to properly feed it and keeping it in a kennel for many hours a day. An animal-cruelty investigator went to Newcomb’s apartment in December 2010 and, once invited in, saw the dog in the yard “in a near emaciated condition.” The dog, the investigator reported, “was kind of eating at random things in the yard, and trying to vomit.”

The investigator asked why, and Newcomb said she was out of dog food but that she was going to get more that night, according to the Court of Appeals’ summary of the case.

The investigator determined a “strong possibility” existed that the dog needed medical care and brought the dog to a Humane Society vet. The vet gave the dog food, charted his weight and measured his rapid weight gain over several days. The vet also tested the dog’s feces and blood, ruling out disease. The investigator concluded nothing was wrong with the dog other than it was very hungry.

Newcombe was charged in Multnomah County Circuit Court with second-degree animal neglect.

She tried to suppress the vet’s findings by saying her state and federal constitutional rights to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure were violated when the investigator seized her dog without a warrant and the veterinarian tested her dog without a warrant.

Newcomb argued that dogs are personal property and she has the same privacy rights to her dog as she would to objects such as pocket knives or boots — which is a reference to previous case law.

The prosecutor countered that unlike other possessions, animals have a right to medical care and to be free from neglect.

Judge Eric Bergstrom denied Newcomb’s attempt to suppress the evidence, and she was found guilty. She was sentence to one year of probation and ordered not to possess animals for five years.

The Court of Appeals on Wednesday found that the investigator had probable cause to seize the dog and didn’t need a warrant. But the appeals court found the vet’s “search” of the dog violated Newcomb’s privacy rights because the authorities hadn’t obtained a warrant.

Although many judges would likely issue a warrant under such circumstances, critics argue the ruling will slow down the process of getting medical care to animals.

The appeals court sent the case back to Multnomah County Circuit Court for further proceedings, but it is unlikely Newcomb will be retried since the main evidence against her isn’t admissible.

Judges Timothy Sercombe, Darleen Ortega and Erika Hadlock took part in the decision


Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinions of others…Stay tuned  -B


~ by topcatsroar on April 18, 2014.

14 Responses to “Appeals court says pets are ‘property’”

  1. WooHoo! Not any too soon! You see, while, I agree that starving an animal is VERY WRONG AND VERY CRUEL, IF the powers that be would have followed the basic laws established, the abuser would not have gone unpunished. The animal cruelty officer and the vet knew better! But their ARROGANCE is what allowed this to happen! WE HAVE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS and ONE OF THOSE IS THE RIGHT TO PERSONAL PROPERTY and the protection it! ANIMALS ARE CLASSIFIED AS “PERSONAL PROPERTY”! GO APPEALS COURT!!!

  2. Wouldn’t the “right” thing to do have simply been for the investigator to come back tomorrow and see if she had indeed gotten more food as she said she would? These idiots no longer give anyone a chance to improve conditions. They’ll take a look and immediately take action, based on their own speculations and opinions. Imagine if that could be done with say, restaurant or factory inspections. Instead of issuing a citation if they see evidence of a cockroach or a missing safety device and giving the business a set time to fix the problem, they’d just shut down the place and seize all the business inventory…. Then give it away to their friends. That’s basically what they are doing with animals. Yes, it’s RICO all the way, and not about the animals at all.

    • How many puppies and dogs eat what they shouldn’t; including their toys and later puke it up!?! There is no mention of his condition or that he was emaciated which usually go hand in hand in these articles.

  3. The article links to the Oregon statutes. This one says, “A person commits the crime of animal neglect in the second degree if, except as otherwise authorized by law, the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence fails to provide minimum care for an animal in such persons custody or control.”
    So did they prove beyond a doubt that whatever it is they claimed was intentional, knowing, reckless, or with criminal negligence?

  4. Good reversal…………

    What should be happening on many cases in my opinion (if they are valid) is that humane societies, “rescues”, spca’s, etc should be REQUIRED to help the animals right where they are, (and this would also bring rescue back to it being local rescues helping local animal owners instead of rescues swooping in from out of the area, and using social media to form a mob of outsiders who have no clue what the real story is), if the owner 1. WANTS help in the first place and 2. wants to keep their animals (in other words, it isn’t someone that no longer wants their animals anyway and has not been taking care of them on purpose, because they don’t really want the animals so they don’t put the “basic standard of care” -and which MANY animals, and also people for goodness sake, are living under , and which is perfectly acceptable and is NOT cause for animals, children, elderly people, or others to be taken away from their families as many of these so-called “rescues” or “guardians” for people try/want to do! – as a priority), the rescuers can “crank up the donation machine” from their followers, they can pay themselves something for driving to-and-fro to where the animals are at the owners property to make sure they are being fed with the donation money, that they are receiving veterinary care (if needed) with the donation money, etc.

    Rescues usually claim they don’t do this (leave animals at the owners property and help them from there) because they think the person will just spend the money given to them on whatever, there is risk to the health and safety of the volunteers going to the property to “help”, etc.

    However, often the rescues actually don’t want anyone to know what THEY are spending the donation money on (like Starbucks, getting their hair and nails done, stuff for their “rugrats” (kids), feeding their own personal non-rescue animals, etc), they don’t want people to know how many animals they are killing (because some seized and/or rescued animals will end up making the so-called rescuer look bad if they don’t “get well”, put on weight, etc, so these fiends simply kill the animal so they don’t end up looking like they were running a scam on an animal that simply cannot be “fixed”) after they have squeezed all of the “sympathy/pity donations” out of people that they can for the unadoptable with or without a fee animals that they don’t want to have to keep alive and maintain for months or years, they want to be able to go in and steal for free ALL of the animals, not just the ones with no adoption (sale) value that may be debilitated, old, have medical/behavioral issues, and leave the valuable animals they can get not only “crisis donations” on (because they use photos of the debilitated animals so that naïve donors think all of the animals look bad when they don’t), but that they also sell for high adoption fees (and some of the horse rescues in SoCal actually get some of their followers who have “drank the koolaid” that adopting horses out for “fair market value” is “rescue”, and not simply retail sales….) sometimes/often within days of being seized, so how debilitated could the animals have been?
    Oh, many of these “savior rescues” (“welfare rescues” is often what they are because they are primarily donation-funded and would not be able to do what they do if not for thousands of $$$ in donations coming in because many “rescuers” do not have “regular jobs” outside of rescue, and “rescue is their job”) are also from out of the area from where the animals are located, so they cannot easily, if they are able to reasonably do it at all, go back and forth to where the animals are at on a daily, or even every other day basis. Now some are in kahoots and set-up with other “rescues”/shysters in various areas that they split donation money with if they will participate in the attack and seizure, however, it would be much harder to hide this “dirty ‘not-so-little’ secret” from the public showing a swarm being done on often innocent animal owners who are being terrorized by these “animal enterprise terrorists”.
    Quite frankly, MANY of the so-called rescuers behave like common criminals and thieves (and are also “terrorists” by the definition of the FBI under the “Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act” scheme) who want to control the donation money that comes in, they want to be acclaimed and idolized “Rescue-Stars” (and in gangs, and with gangbangers who do things to become real gangsters who have set themselves apart, this is called being a “Ghetto-Star”), they often have no real interest or love for ALL animals, and only want to “rescue” the animals who have some type of donation-value and/or sale value, and many are simply committing fraud in some, often many, instances. And the local agencies who are tax payer funded sometimes love it when privatized animal rescues from out-of-the-area come in and “solve the problem” (whether there is a problem or not), take the animals out of the local government agencies area so that the government agency (usually animal services/control) don’t have to do ANY follow-up, but they still end up looking like they “did something” and “saved” the animals……pretty much a racket where everyone involved can pat themselves on the back and congratulate one another on how “we worked together” to save (steal) peoples animals, when that is not what happened.

    Real rescuers would have no problem with what I have proposed/am proposing should be done (leaving the animals at the owners property and helping them from there), and it is what Dr. Don Hennecke, the inventor of the weight assessment scale that most horse rescuers/rescues use (often inaccurately according to the doctor before he passed away) to assess horses said should be happening because what he also said in his press release issued before he died was that “seizures are epidemic in the US” and there is often no way to judge what is going on with an animal (just like with people) just by looking at them (especially when being assessed by inexperienced people who are so narcissistic they actually think they know how to accurately assess animals, when they do not), so they need blood panels done, a veterinary assessment and follow-up’s for weeks, or months, etc,, (and moving them in poor condition actually stresses the animals unnecessarily according to Dr. Hennecke too), and then it makes it easier to differentiate what is real illness from what is neglect and/or starvation.

    So if after at least 60 days, up to a year (or more sometimes), the animals who didn’t need immediate, crisis-care are obviously being neglected, not fed enough, etc, and veterinary care is showing that it is neglect, and not just that certain animals, just like with people, have medical/health, and sometimes even behavioral issues that make them difficult, if not impossible, to treat (this happens with horses a lot with real captive-wild horses off the range, many ranch breeding stock horses that were breeding stock only and never trained, and with Indian reservation horses) issues that cause them to “not look so good” and/or thousands would have to be spent on an animal that basically is either like a person in hospice who is terminal but not wanting to die (be euthanized) yet and/or just might not look so good for whatever reasons, but doesn’t want to be dead and is not being neglected, and if everything starts to fall apart in terms of animals weight, condition, etc after the rescue is no longer paying for the help the owner had ACCEPTED, the rescue is no longer helping take care of the animals by them being there, etc, then at least it would be showing a pattern by the owner of either perhaps not being able to afford to feed their animals properly without help, having an unwillingness to feed the animal enough because they spend their money on other things instead, and then perhaps a few of the animals could be placed in good homes, or there might actually be willful neglect and perhaps the owner is simply not interested in taking care of their animals.

    This approach would help separate the animals and owners who really need help, from the ones who either do NOT need help, they are NOT neglecting their animals and they are not going to be an opportunity from a so-called “rescue”, humane society, or spca to run a “flim-flam con” on them and collect thousands of $$ in donations on many animals they will either kill and/or sell for good money.

    And it would also help STOP the huge problem of animals that really are in dire straits and being neglected and/or abused being entirely over-looked and ignored for help from “rescues” with followings because the animals don’t have enough value to the rescue because the “rescue” is too busy only seizing animals with good donation value and don’t really care about many of the animals as the rescue “de-values” and ignores them time and time again.
    Sadly, because of the skillful social media manipulations by many rescues, the little local rescues often do not get enough support through donations, so if the more well-known rescues from out of the area won’t help animals for whatever reasons, local rescues may not be able to help either because they do not have the donation base to do so that the more social media savvy rescues are “working”, so animals that should be getting help simply do not.

    • Many of us would rather see animals left where they are and animal owners or small rescues receive help…Great concept but now that law enforcement is involved and they have found a way to take animals; sadly, it’s not happening. O know of a large number of cases that never received so much as a citation before seizure and never should have been seized in the first place. -B

  5. The real “hoarders” are the so-called “rescues” who are primarily, or wholly, donation-funded so that if all of their donations (free money) dried up tomorrow and they had to pay with their own personal money for the up-keep on all the animals they have (especially problematic for horse rescues), and seeing as many of these people do not have “regular jobs” outside of rescue, and often do not have spouses, partners, etc who work in regular jobs either, and “rescue is their job” – sounds like welfare to us – (many of these people are fraudulently collecting disability checks saying they “can’t work” when they are out everyday taking care of animals, training dogs and/or horses for the public for a fee, etc…’s called “fraud”, and it is rampant in “rescue” in various ways), they would NOT be able to take care of their animals, and thus, THEY are the hoarders.

    • I don’t agree with you on this at all!!! -First of all if someone is on disability there could be numerous reasons as the why they are receiving disability yet, could still care for animals. Often, because of a disability, they can not get a job or run a business, even the simplest business, could easily be difficult for someone who is on disability. Working with animals is basic-feed, clean and nurture.
      The term ‘hoarder’ is a nasty term for ‘collector’ and I don’t usually have a problem with it.
      When ‘rescue’ gets beyond what a person is capable of handling; there can then be a big problem-They reach out for help and WHAM, someone comes in an accuses them of animal cruelty and becomes a major problem for them as well as the taxpayer. He doesn’t reach out for help, someone thinking he is helping them tries to get them help and the same scenario occurs.
      Just about ALL animal shelters depend on donations and the sale of animals. They do very little fundraising otherwise and get caught-op in a system thy may never have intended to get caught up in.
      Then there’s the ‘humane society’ calling itself a ‘rescue’ when in actuality, is promoting animal cruelty. Totally dependent on donations and gets hired by a city or county for animal control for the extra money they need and not coming in thru donations or animal sales; these are the biggest offenders. Worse than the people they accuse of animal cruelty ‘hoarding’-if it’s not a ‘puppy mill’ then it must be a ‘hoarder’-They require a reason NOT to help anyone BUT themselves so the term ‘hoarder’ enters into the animal world and likely shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
      The magic number seems to be SEVEN animals unless there is some sort of city ordinance dictating the number of animals allowed thus more than what is allowed becomes a ‘hoarding case’.
      Now I’ve just touched on the issue of ‘animal hoarding’ but my point is anyone and all ‘rescues’ could be classified as ‘hoarding’ including that ‘humane society’ promoting animal cruelty that is over-run with too many animals in the first place (due to their lack of ability to sell the animals they have-start euthanizing animals to make room for MORE) They keep promoting animal ‘rescue’ and maybe the worst kind of ‘hoarder’ and the only actual ‘animal hoarders’ in the bunch with a board that does nothing to put limits on thee numbers of animals they should be caring for and/or stepping back to devote more time in animal sales and fundraisers.
      I would never make such a broad statement about a small animal ‘rescue’. Hoping this gives you some food for thought. -B

      • I’m speaking of particular people who are collecting disability checks fraudulently while training horses for the public “for a fee” when they could be working a desk job instead at the company that pays them their disability check, and that they say they are still employed with, but not “cleared” to go back to work for……hmm, if someone isn’t “cleared” to even be a desk jockey, then how the hell are they able to do the dangerous job of training horses, while never protecting their *supposedly* brain injured head with a helmet because they have “a condition” (which I won’t name but they have) that *supposedly* makes them dizzy when they wear a helmet but research shows that is not true in the least (they don’t wear a helmet because they don’t want to mess up their hair…lol)
        And after being accused of being a hoarder when I am not, and we actually work in a business “outside of rescue” and never needing help with the animals we take in and care for because we work for a living and don’t live off of donations, to be attacked by a “rescue” trying to put their name on the map who are entirely donation-funded and that keep on taking on more and more and more horses, if their donations disappeared tomorrow, and seeing that their only income is a disability check, they are a hoarder by definition of not being able to care for the animals they take in without help from others.
        Many of the so-called horse “rescues” are nothing more than horse traders that buy (calling it rescue) horses with donation money that are often not rescue horses (outbidding private non-kill buyer bidders at the sale because a horse has excellent “adoption for a fee” value of $1000+), they then also maintain the horses using donation money, and then “put down” horses in various ways that are found to have “issues” of illness, chronic physical issues that were not evident at the auction, they actually create issues with their “re-feeding” programs with horses (like acute laminitis, ulcers, colic, etc), the horses that have dangerous behavioral issues, etc, that make them unadoptable (and they use donation money to kill horses too, but if they weren’t being watched, many would simply sell the horse into the slaughter-pipeline, and some actually do that I have documentation on, and statements from kill buyers). For the horses that are “adoptable for a fee”, the new buzz words are adopting them out for “fair market value”, which for those of us in the horse industry for a lot of years, that IS retail pricing-speak, not rescue adoption pricing.

        So seeing as we actually are not only a “not for profit” animal rescue through the state, but also paid the extra money and went under the scrutiny of the IRS to become a 501c3 tax exempt organization (and many of the dog and horse rescues will NOT do this extra step because they would NOT be able to get past the IRS’s scrutiny in terms of their financials as a “not for profit” because of how they manipulate the numbers), we have no problem with real rescues who are legitimate being donation-funded (we are primarily and 99.99999% self-funded, but we are definitely not the norm in animal rescue).
        However, when it is obvious to us, and many other people figuring it out too, that many animal rescues, especially in horses and dogs, are committing fraud, and are also “living off of rescue” and profitting, and that these same people have attacked others many times accusing people of being “hoarders” when they usually are not, but they themselves would NOT be able to support all of the animals they take in at the revolving-door rescues they run (kill 3 unadoptable horses in one day, and buy with donations 5 more the next day at the auction), THEY are the hoarders when all the chips are down and if their donations dried up tomorrow.
        And if we weeded out these jackasses, then legitimate rescues, and also individuals, could safely ask for “help” and would not have to be as worried about being attacked by these “flim-flam” con artists who are operating for-profit businesses, committing documented fraud of various types quite often, lying and manipulating under the guise of “transparency” that their foolish and naïve “enabler/cult followers” believe, the many, many animals (and also their owners in some cases) that really do need help, even if they are animals with no value but are still worthy of living, could get the help instead of falling through the cracks.

        And while I in the past never used the words “animal hoarder” or “collector” to describe anyone, when we were attacked and called “hoarders” (even though we did not take in more animals than we could afford to take care of ourselves at “basic care” standards, and these are the unwanted animals because we’re not normally in the “adoption biz” before 2013), that pretty much opened the door for me to call “a spade, a spade” and focus on so-called “rescues” that are animal hoarders if all of their donations went away, but these same people/”rescues” persist in attacking animal owners, and other rescues, and accusing them of being hoarders…….not cool, not nice, and they need to be exposed and weeded out (book coming out within the next 3 months that exposes the “rescue racket” that many work).

      • I’m referring to apples and you were referring to oranges-I had not see your earlier comment to know you were referring to training horses…This is a better explanation as to what you were referring to and appreciate you taking the time to explain and we agree with respect to this explanation. -B

  6. […] Appeals court says pets are 'property' | Top Cats Roar… […]

  7. “The state concedes that the veterinarian working at the Humane Society was a state actor because she was acting at the direction of the officer.”

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