(CN) – An Oregon appeals court ruled that a couple can not reclaim a black-tailed deer named “Snowball” because they do not have a permit to hold a wild animal.
After the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife seized the deer from Filipetti and Francesca Mantei, the couple sought the “return or restoration of things seized,” under state law.
The couple argued that because the agency did not press criminal charges for possessing a wild animal without a permit, the deer should be returned because it was no longer needed for evidence.
The state agency argued that the couple had to have a permit to hold the animal, to satisfy the entitlement language in the state restoration statute.
Agreeing with the agency and reversing the trial court, the appeals court ruled that the restoration statute requires the couple to lawfully possess the animal. Without a permit to hold Snowball, the couple can’t lawfully possess the deer.