OR: State veterinarian taking blood from def’s sick dog was a seizure requiring a warrant

A warrantless search of a dog’s blood by a state hired veterinarian after seizure of the sick animal was a seizure by the state requiring a warrant. State v. Newcomb, 359 Ore. 756, 2016 Ore. LEXIS 366 (June 16, 2016):

In sum, we conclude that, although the officer’s seizure of the dog was justified by the “plain view” exception to the warrant requirement, the veterinarian, acting on behalf of the state, conducted a warrantless search of the dog by extracting and testing its blood—an act that constituted a physical invasion of defendant’s property and exposed otherwise concealed information about the dog that served as evidence of a crime. Because the state has not argued that the search of the dog was justified by an exception to the warrant requirement or that admission of the evidence was harmless, our analysis ends there. By extracting and testing the dog’s blood, the state conducted a warrantless search of defendant’s property in violation of defendant’s Article I, section 9, rights, and evidence discovered as a result of that search should have been suppressed.

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