Neglected horse sues former owner for $100,000

An emaciated, neglected horse is suing his former owner for $100,000 in damages for negligence.

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On Tuesday, the Animal Legal Defense Fund in Portland sued Gwendolyn Vercher, 51, in Washington County Circuit Court on behalf of Justice, an 8-year-old American quarter horse, who was found 300 pounds underweight, full of lice and with damaged genitals from frostbite, according to the Oregonian.

"The Oregon Legislature clearly established an anti-cruelty statute for the safety and protection of animals," Sarah Hanneken, an attorney for Justice, told The Oregonian. "Victims of crimes can sue their abusers, and animals are sentient beings that are recognized as victims under Oregon law. So with that premise, we've come to the conclusion that animals can sue their abusers, and we're confident of our stance in this case."

The horse was removed from Vercher’s care in 2017. He will require special medical care for the rest of his life. Any money from the lawsuit would be put into a trust to pay those costs.

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