Animal Law

Subpoenaed Canine Witnesses Are Well Behaved, But Fail to Win Owners' Acquittal


A defense lawyer hoping to win an acquittal for two Oregon men accused of animal neglect subpoenaed four unusual witnesses on their behalf: Merlin, Patches, Coco and Raven.

Defense lawyer Chris O’Connor had subpoenaed the dogs—three Great Danes and a Pit Bull—in an effort to show the animals were in good shape, report the Oregonian and the Associated Press. Authorities seized the four dogs in May after a fifth, a Shar-Pei with a pus-filled mass on her head, was voluntarily turned over and euthanized.

The canine witnesses were well-behaved. “There was no barking, no yelping, no accidents on the marble floor,” the Oregonian says.

Prosecutors claimed the defendants, Wayne Martin and Layne Woods of Portland, failed to give two of the animals adequate veterinary care. All of the dogs had fleas at the time they were seized, and one of the Great Danes had a leg wound, witnesses testified.

O’Connor’s ploy wasn’t successful. The two men were convicted of first-degree animal neglect on Wednesday, the Oregonian reports in a separate story.

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