Lawyers appeal dismissal of lawsuit filed on horse’s behalf

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Attorneys for a once-neglected horse are filling an appeal after an Oregon judge dismissed their lawsuit last year, finding that animals don’t have a right to sue.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports lawyers from the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the horse’s former owner for lifelong costs of medical care.

The horse named Justice was discovered in March 2017 covered in lice, 300 pounds (136 kilograms) underweight and with frostbitten genitals.

Washington County Pro Tem Judge John Knowles tossed the lawsuit in September, saying “non-human animals are incapable of accepting legal responsibilities.”

He said granting legal standing to animals could result in a “flood of lawsuits.”

The animal rights activists argue the state Supreme Court has already recognized that animals can be considered victims under the state’s animal cruelty statute.