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Prosecution For Possum Killing - 2nd Conviction

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j   

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/victoria/killer-kelpiecross-rampages-through-gardens-again-20130418-2i230.html

Killer kelpie-cross rampages through gardens again

Date April 18, 2013 (1) Read later Steve Butcher

Mishka the possum killer.

Mishka the kelpie-cross possum killer has struck again in Melbourne's historical inner-city Carlton Gardens.

A Melbourne court today heard the then-registered owner of the black-and-tan dog was penalised $2000 in 2010 for an attack that killed a possum.

It was revealed in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday that Mishka savaged another possum in the same gardens last July in the shadows of the Royal Exhibition Building.

The court was told the registered owner of Mishka in the latest attack was James Keath whose brother was fined in 2010.

Advertisement Prosecutor Trevor Wallwork said in a summary that an animal management officer was on patrol about 4.45pm on July 12 when she saw a dog running at "full speed" and off-leash in the gardens where dogs had to be leashed at all times.

Mr Wallwork, for the City of Melbourne, said the dog headed east and then west and began to jump and bark at a tree before it ran north at high speed to stop at another tree.

He said the officer then saw the dog had a possum in its mouth and shook it about twice.

The dog dropped the possum after a passerby helped the officer, but bit it again and was then restrained.

Mr Wallwork said the injured animal tried to climb a tree but fell to the ground and then a juvenile possum was found in the same tree.

The officer was approached by a man who admitted he had let Mishka off her lead "because it won't go to the toilet when it's on lead".

Mr Wallwork said a veterinarian later found the possum was dead and that the cause of death was "probably the fear, shock, trauma and pain" of the attack.

The baby possum was found to be unharmed and in good health and was placed in the care of wildlife helpers.

Mishka was examined at a dogs' home and found to be mircochipped and wearing a tagged collar with a mobile phone number.

When James Keath attended the home, he paid a $42 release fee and registration renewal of $57 and recorded on the release form: " ... taken to corner store off lead ... then absconded".

Mr Wallwork said when James Keath's housemate was interviewed, he said he took Mishka and his dog Rembrandt for a walk and left her tied to a parking metre while he entered a convenience store.

He said when he returned he found Rembrandt had chewed through Mishka's lead and that she was gone.

In court today, James Keath told Mr Lethbridge he did not want legal advice and pleaded guilty to charges of owning a non-dangerous dog that attacked or bit an animal.

He also pleaded guilty to owning a dog that was at large.

Keath said that immediately after the incident he prohibited anyone again walking Mishka.

Keath, a contractor, said he understood how serious the charges were – the combined maximum fine for both charges is $7000 – but submitted he was not in control of Mishka at that time.

He asked Mr Lethbridge to take into account that he was recently married and his wife was pregnant with their first child.

Mr Lethbridge took into account that Mishka was not classed a dangerous dog, that Keath was prosecuted because he was the owner of her and that significantly at the time of the offence he was not in charge of her.

He found Keath's moral and legal culpability was at a relatively low level.

Keath was put on a good behaviour bond for 12 months and was ordered to pay costs of $900.

Charges against the housemate have been adjourned.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/killer-kelpiecross-rampages-through-gardens-again-20130418-2i230.html#ixzz2TVnqNovT

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inez   

That dog would be sooooo popular in New Zealand

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Sue   

That dog would be sooooo popular in New Zealand

:laugh: Yes, she would be. Happy to send all our possums back.

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espinay2   

I find it interesting though that the court ruled that even though he owned the dog, his moral and legal culpability was low because he was not in charge of it at the time.

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inez   

Did rather make me wonder if the owner had to pay costs of 900 and good behaviour bond. What on earth are they going to fine the dog who actually chewed through her lead and let her go?

I know I am really at risk of being labled flippant, but honestly it certainly reads as a complete accident she became loose.

Edited by inez

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espinay2   

The way it read I wasn't sure if that was a story that was made up later or not. But I find it interesting that in some cases (DA in particular) the actions of the dog may be wholly contributed to the owner whether it is undertheir control at the time or not, but in 'minor' cases (killing another animal in this case though) their actions may not be. Seems there is less legal and moral 'duty of care' on the part of the owner in these cases? So where is the line drawn from a legal point of view? If a dog is under the control of someone other than its owner, and bites a person or another dog, where does the owner stand legally and morally? Are they responsible for their dogs actions in these situations or not? Can of worms really. Or perhaps an interesting precedent for Victoria in particular.

Edited by espinay2

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Carlton Gardens? maybe ole ranger mate should start pulling down the tree sleeves he nailed up so possums can be in which ever tree they want to be in. Theres always gonna be offleash dogs in that park.

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megan_   

I find it interesting though that the court ruled that even though he owned the dog, his moral and legal culpability was low because he was not in charge of it at the time.

that is the law in Victoria though. Even if a child is walking your dog, their parents will be culpable, not you.

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espinay2   

I find it interesting though that the court ruled that even though he owned the dog, his moral and legal culpability was low because he was not in charge of it at the time.

that is the law in Victoria though. Even if a child is walking your dog, their parents will be culpable, not you.

Even more interesting if the ruling did not accord with the law....

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