A team of lawyers, however, was determined to defend Luke from further harm. Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) came to Luke's rescue, using a very clever argument to get Luke away from danger.
Because the law treats animals as a person's property, Luke's owner, the lawyers argued, had neglected his property by refusing to provide him veterinary care after his shoulder was shattered.
"If the defendant sufficiently involved Luke in an unlawful act, that would, in turn, make Luke derivative contraband," ALDF explained. Derivative contraband is property used to commit an illegal act - and which law enforcement has no obligation to return.
"So long as the law treats animals as property, it must also be willing to award them contraband status when they are subject to unlawful cruelty," ALDF wrote.