- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
- Date Filed: 09-09-2021
- Case #: A171836
- Judge(s)/Court Below: James, P.J. for the Court; Ortega, J.; & Kistler, S.J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a conviction of first-degree animal neglect and assigned error to the trial court’s denial of her motion to suppress evidence obtained while seizing her cat. On appeal, Defendant argued the animal control officer’s seizure of her cat was unlawful, and therefore the trial court should have suppressed all property seized, all observations made, and all statements gathered by the officer. Further, Defendant argued that the exigent circumstances and emergency aid exceptions to warrantless seizures did not apply. In response, the State argued that both the exigent circumstances and emergency aid exceptions applied. When dealing with animal neglect, exigent circumstances exist when “a person fails to provide the ‘minimum care’ required by statute, ORS 167.310(9), and the failure results in imminent ‘physical injury,’ ORS 167.310(10), or imminent ‘serious physical injury,’ ORS 167.310(13).” The Court held that the officer had probable cause to believe that these specific animal neglect statutes had been violated. Moreover, based on the facts about the cat’s condition at the time, there was sufficient belief that the cat was experiencing serious physical injury. Therefore, the warrantless action of the officer was needed. Affirmed.