News

Owner fined but dangerous dogs spared death row after killing cat

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May 29, 2018

A MAGISTRATE has refused to destroy two dangerous dogs who ‘‘played tug-of-war’’ with a pet cat in Rochester who later died.

But she has ordered their owner, Rochester’s Angela Murray, to pay $2,300 impound costs to the Campaspe Shire, who have housed the dogs for 84 days.

The Staffy Bull Terrier cross and Rottweiler cross have been saved in hope they will be able to be re-homed after the case was heard ex parte in Echuca Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Campaspe Shire local laws coordinator Nicholas Curnow told the court the cat’s owner heard her dogs barking erratically on February 28.

‘‘She was in the house and heard dogs barking and didn’t think anything of it until they started barking louder,’’ he said.

‘‘She went out the side door in fear there was someone in the house to see two dogs on her driveway biting her cats around the face.

‘‘She started yelling to get the dogs away before they started playing tug-of-war with the car.’’

The dogs then dropped the cat and ran towards their yard further down the street.

‘‘The cat was covered in blood and was just breathing,’’ Mr Curnow said.

‘‘She put her cat in the car to take her to the Rochester vets and saw both dogs being called by their owner into their address.

‘‘The cat passed away before she reached the vets.’’

The court heard the cat’s owner remembered seeing the same Rottweiler standing in her driveway the day before.

‘‘On February 27 at 7.45am, a witness also saw the dogs chasing a horse in a paddock,’’ Mr Curnow said.

On this day Murray was asked by the local ranger to secure the dogs to which her response was she was waiting for DHS to fix some fence palings.

‘‘On February 28 at 2.15pm, the rangers seized both dogs,’’ Mr Curnow said.

The court heard the council staff tried on several occasions to get in contact with Murray and set up an interview about the incident but was unsuccessful.

The total cost to the council for housing the two dogs for the 84 days was $5,683.30.

But magistrate Megan Aumair said due to Murray’s obvious financial difficulties she would not order her to pay the whole amount.

Ms Aumair declared the dogs dangerous, fined Murray $1,000 and ordered her to pay the $2,300 impound costs and $122.30 court costs.

Murray was not in attendance at court.

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