On Wednesday, the Oregon Court of Appeals overturned the 2011 conviction of a Portland woman who starved and abused her dog, citing concerns over a vet treating the dog without seeking permission from a judge first. The ruling will make it more difficult to provide emergency veterinary care to animals that have been beaten, injured or otherwise harmed, instead favoring antiquated personal property laws that identify pets as objects -- despite the fact that they are living, sentient beings.
At the end of 2010, a Humane Society investigator visited the home of Amanda L. Newcomb after receiving a report claiming that Newcomb routinely neglected and abused her dog. The investigator was invited inside and, finding the dog in "near emaciated condition," took the animal to a vet. The vet conducted an emergency examination of the sick dog, who was starving and severely underweight. According to the Oregonian, the appellate court's ruling centers on the vet's "unconstitutional" immediate treatment: