Dog owner Kai Taylor did not object today when a court in Queensland, Australia, fined him $2,675 for the vicious attack by his Staffordshire Terrier-mix dog on a neighbor’s Australian Shepherd on Oct. 1, according to the Coolum News.
Sunshine Coast Council prosecutor Michael Heiner presented gruesome photos of the aftermath of the mauling to Magistrate Annette Hennessy in requesting a $2000 fine plus $675 court and council costs.
The photos showed the neighbor's dog, Sheba with bite wounds all over her body. The dog spent five days in the hospital.
The defendant surrendered his dog Mia to be euthanized after the incident.
Taylor told the court he was extremely remorseful for the damage inflicted and offered to pay all veterinary bills for the victim.
The defendant said his 3-year-old Staffie had "never done anything like this before."
The Sunshine Coast Region is a local government area in Queensland, Australia.
Director of Community Services Coralie Nichols said there had been 17 reports of dog attacks since Jan. 1, nine of which involved people.
"Council holds owners responsible for their dogs' unacceptable behavior, and we will not rest until all avenues have been pursued to the full extent to prosecute offenders and create a safe community for everyone and their animals," she said.
ADDRESSING IRRESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERSHIP
The judge explained that in handing down the judgment to Kai Hamilton, the penalty needed to be substantial and act as a general deterrent appropriate to the circumstances.
The defendant pleaded guilty and was fined $2,000 for two offenses – failing to prevent his dog from causing injury to another animal and failing to maintain minimum containment standards – in addition to the court and professional costs of $673.60.
Nichols said the council's "zero tolerance" stance against dangerous dogs had not waivered since entering a new year.
"Today's matter demonstrates careless and negligent behavior on the part of the owner, which is an all too common factor behind many dog attacks," Nichols said. "The defendant's dog, Mia, escaped her property and managed to enter a neighboring yard where she viciously attacked much loved family dog, Sheba.
"Thankfully, neighbors were able to enter the yard and stop the attack after hearing noises and witnessing Mia biting the stomach and back legs of Sheba, the Australian Shepherd.
"The defendant admitted his back fence was in a bad state and that his dog had escaped on many occasions prior to this incident," the spokeswoman explained to MySunshineCoast.com. "Sheba required surgery for the serious injuries she incurred and was hospitalized for five days.
"Dog owners need to be aware that dogs can be unpredictable and even a small moment of inattention can lead to tragic and often heartbreaking consequences for others.
"Council holds owners responsible for their dogs' unacceptable behavior," she said.