Dog to be destroyed for attacks, owner given bond

A DOG will be destroyed after it took a pet rabbit from a neighbour’s cage and killed the animal, and attacked another neighbour about a month later, a court has heard.

Jan Maree Judd’s two-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Jet has been impounded by the City of Ballarat since it savaged her neighbour’s arm on the afternoon of October 17 this year.

Judd, 40, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday, where she pleaded guilty to five charges relating to Jet, including allowing a dog to bite a person causing serious injury, allowing a dog to attack an animal causing death and failing to apply to register a dog.

A City of Ballarat prosecutor told the court that an unrestrained Jet went over to the victim’s driveway and started barking on the October afternoon, causing the victim to open her front door to see what was going on. 

But then the victim’s Jack Russell ran through the open door and was immediately set upon by Jet.

The victim lunged over her dog to protect it, and was bitten on the arm by Jet.

As she tried to protect herself, the Jack Russell also bit the victim, this time tearing her upper lip, which eventually required three stitches.

The victim also suffered puncture wounds on her arm.

Just over a month earlier, another neighbour walked out to her driveway to find Jet shaking her pet rabbit, which the dog had taken from its cage and killed.

The prosecutor said general deterrence was a critical factor in sentencing, but conceded that Judd was not reckless in her actions.

Representing herself, Judd told the court how she had bought Jet just months earlier after seeing an advertisement online.

“It was something we were looking at getting into,” she said. 

The mother of six said Jet was a well-behaved dog and would often play with her four-year-old twin boys.

“He was one of them, he would often lie on the couch and sleep with my twins,” she said.

Magistrate Peter Couzens sentenced Judd to a 12-month good behaviour bond without conviction.

Judd was also ordered to pay $1000 in legal costs and more than $1500 in pound costs.

“Cases like this I always find very difficult because they involve a range of emotions and consequences,” Mr Couzens said.

“It must be particularly difficult for you to cope with the fact your dog will be put down.”

Mr Couzens ordered that Jet be destroyed.


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