This involves appeal of a lower court gave the custody of 68 dogs to the Center for Prevention of Animal Cruelty. The 68 dogs were found in extremely poor conditions, sick, malnourished, dehydrated under the custody of the Defendant. Various dogs had dermatitis, conjunctivitis, otitis, sparse hair and boils, lacerations, pyoderma and ulcers. The officers that executed the search also found the decomposing body of a dead dog inside the premises. The lower court determined the defendant had mental disabilities, which did not allow her to comprehend the scope of her acts, for which she was not found guilty of animal cruelty. However, the court determined that she was not suited to care for the dogs.
The Defendant appealed the decision arguing that the dogs were not subject to confiscation. The Defendant requested the restitution of the dogs, arguing that the court acted beyond authority as none of the parties requested any precautionary measure. The Court of Appeals in Criminal Matters of Buenos Aires upheld the decision of the lower that gave the custody of the dogs to the Center for Prevention of Animal Cruelty who would put them up for adoption without adoption fees. In its reasoning, the Court of Appeals found that animals are subjects of rights, and that such categorization does not imply that they have the same rights as humans, but that it is about recognizing their own rights as part of the obligation to respect their life and dignity. Animals are sentient beings that deserve adequate care, and the 68 dogs are not immaterial objects, but rather living beings capable of acquiring rights.
The court based its reasoning on Article. 1 of Ley 14346 that establishes that the mistreatment and cruelty towards animals “shall be punished with imprisonment of fifteen days to one year” and that, according to that statement, the will of the legislative was to recognize that animals could be subjects of rights. The court cited the decision of the Court Federal Justice of Criminal Cassation in the “Orangutana Sandra s/recurso de casación s/habeas corpus” decision. That court stated, “from a dynamic and non-static legal interpretation, it was necessary to recognize [Sandra] an orangutan as a subject of rights, as non-human subjects (animals) are holders of rights, so it imposes her protection."