Oregon v. Newcomb:
A dog is personal property under Oregon law. However, Oregon law simultaneously limits ownership and possessory rights in ways that it does not for inanimate property. Live animals under Oregon law are subject to statutory welfare protections that ensure their basic minimum care, including veterinary treatment. The obligation to provide that minimum care falls on any person who has custody and control of a dog or other animal. A dog owner simply has no cognizable right, in the name of her privacy, to countermand that obligation.
The bolded portion confuses me. By "countermand that obligation" I think they are referring to the obligation of animal owners to take care of their domestic pets. How exactly does the right to privacy clash with this obligation? Am I supposed to interpret this sentence as saying that you may not invoke your right to privacy to protect yourself from a warrantless search of your pet if it is suspected that you have neglected your obligation to maintian your pet's welfare? Or is it trying to say something else?
In this case the animal was seized by an officer without a warrant on the basis that the animal was severely emaciated and was dry heaving. He had received reports of dog abuse, and the owner admitted that she had no food for the dog. The dog, though emaciated, was not in any immediate danger. The court ruled that the owner's rights to due process and privacy was not infringed upon.