A Shepparton disability pensioner whose dog, Trouble, killed a pet cat has had her Greater Shepparton City Council fine halved, a court heard.
Lindy Meloury, of Tilton St, Shepparton, was ordered by the council to pay more than $4000 in fees after the seizure of her bull mastiff named Trouble.
The Shepparton Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard the accused woman let an associate walk her dog on August 18 last year.
‘‘The bull mastiff, Trouble, wasn’t on a lead and (was) at large,’’ Prosecutor Simon Pogue said.
‘‘The dog rushed at a six-year-old cat, who was in its property where it was homed at the time.’’
Mr Pogue then explained how the cat was bitten and was ‘‘screaming in pain in the jaws of the dog’’ as Trouble was ‘‘throwing and yanking’’ the cat.
‘‘The associate then praised the dog and left without offering assistance to the victim,’’ he said.
The court heard how the pet cat was taken to a veterinary clinic with multiple deep puncture wounds and was eventually euthanised.
‘‘The accused spoke to the owner of the cat, so as to smooth over what had happened,’’ Mr Pogue told the court.
‘‘(She said) if anyone comes to take my dog I’m going to shoot them.’’
On October 26, council rangers seized the bull mastiff but refused to interview the accused because she was acting aggressively, the court heard.
Mr Pogue submitted the council costs, including shelter and veterinary care of the accused dog, amounted to more than $4000.
Ms Meloury’s defence lawyer Ian Michaelson told the court she suffered from anxiety, depression and was bipolar.
‘‘Her levels of anxiety were so high she could not leave her home address,’’ Mr Michaelson told the court.
‘‘The dog hadn’t been walked for some time, a person approached her and offered to walk the bigger dog Trouble.’’
Mr Michaelson submitted Ms Meloury provided the lead and harness, but ‘‘then, it seems, the dog has been released, unbeknownst to her’’.
‘‘How is it her responsibility when every step of the way she has tried to do the right thing?
‘‘She has little or no savings and can only cover the costs by way of a most generous payment plan. These are very expensive costs.’’
Magistrate Peter Mithen agreedthe council costs were hefty and noted the dog hadn’t previously come under notice.
‘‘I impose a fee of only $2000, the other costs I am prepared to not allow,’’ he said.
‘‘For me to impose the cost order (the council asks for) would be harsh and unfair.’’