Letters to the Editor

Cats are property under Oregon law

In response to "Ashland Cats Beware," published in Sneak Preview Dec. 1 and "No Justice for Cats in Ashland" in the Daily Tidings on Nov. 7, cats are property, contrary to what the police officer informed Doyle Hirsch in response to his cat being killed in a witnessed hit-and-run accident Nov. 1.

Although cats are not statutorily defined explicitly in Oregon as personal property (as are dogs) cats are defined as personal property in Oregon by implication and case law precedent. Oregon Revised Statutes, section 167.310(2), defines "domestic animal" as an animal, other than livestock or equines, that is owned or possessed by a person. The 2006 case, Cat Champion Corporation v. Primrose, 210 Or. App. 206, references Primrose's personal property, the cats, requiring both management and protection.

A cat that is owned or possessed by a person in Oregon is, therefore, that person's personal property. As such, the same laws that protect one's dog protect the same person's cat. The hit-and-run accident causing the death of the cat that was the personal property of the owner was not only a crime, as the driver converted the personal property of another, but also has civil damage implications including the intrinsic value of the companion animal.

Lisa A. Frost, animal activist and attorney


New fire station needs metal cap

The new Ashland Fire Station on Ashland Street is a success in that it is an aesthetic, land-saving, two-story structure with meeting facilities that needed no adjacent park land. It also has a decorative wood post and laminated beam structure to soften the front.

But this beam structure still has no metal cap to prevent deterioration of the wood. The fire station should last us 100 years, but we'll be looking at a degenerating post-and-beam structure for most of those 100 years if a protective metal cap is not placed on the top of that structure.

Brent Thompson


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