Oregon Horse Files $100,000 Suit Against Former Owner for Neglect

Appropriately named Justice, an Oregon horse is the plaintiff in a case against his previous owner after being recovered with a variety of health maladies. WARNING: Images and subject matter may be considered graphic.

Posted: May 3, 2018 12:13 PM
Updated: May 3, 2018 3:34 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — The plaintiff in an Oregon civil case is listed as "Justice, an American Quarter Horse." Through his current guardian, Kim Mosiman, Justice is suing his former owner Gwendolyn Vercher for "pain, distress, and permanent injury" due to criminal neglect.

Justice is asking for at least $100,000 from his former owner to pay for past and future medical expenses, attorney fees, and pain and suffering.

The suit claims that Oregon law and legal precedent has established that a horse is a 'sentient being,' and can be 'the victim of the crime—an animal entitled to statutory protection.'

"Oregon courts recognize both that animals are victims and that victims have a right to sue their abusers," the suit claims.

According to the lawsuit, the 8-year-old quarter horse was liberated from Vercher's property by Oregon Horse Rescue in March of 2017 after a neighbor called to report that Justice (formerly Shadow) appeared underfed and neglected.

A veterinarian determined that Justice was 300 pounds underweight, infested with lice and covered in scabs, with frostbite and severe infection to his penis that led to a buildup of scar tissue. Justice's penis appears to be permanently damaged and no longer functions as it should. 

Ordinarily, a male horse's genitalia can and should extend or contract as the the situation mandates—in Justice's case, the suit claims, his penis is 'prolapsed' and is unable to contract, even a year after his recovery and with multiple medical procedures.

Although Vercher faced criminal charges—and was sentenced to three years on probation for animal neglect—Justice is now suing her for damages and to cover his medical treatment. The lawsuit claims that Justice will need continuing medical care for the rest of his life.

Justice is represented by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Article Comments

Medford
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 85°
Brookings
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 68°
Crater Lake
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 81°
Grants Pass
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 86°
Klamath Falls
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 81°
Hot and Sunny Weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Vision and it's Impact on Learning

Image

Friday, August 23 afternoon weather

Image

Friday, August 23 morning weather

Image

Cancer survivors wear purple at Relay For Life

Image

Relay honors caregivers

Image

Relay For Life happening tomorrow

Image

Retired couple and divers recover drowning victim's body from Lost Creek Lake

Image

Curry County turns away from Tsunami sirens

Image

Take a Hike: Bandersnatch Trail

Image

A quite hero