A 53-year-old woman has admitted her three dogs attacked and killed more than 30 sheep at a Mount Mercer farming property last year.
Mary O’Callaghan now must pay thousands of dollars in fines, fees and compensation.
Her three dogs were located at her Mount Mercer home with blood stains on them a day after the sheep were attacked on May 27.
The farmer, who lived near O’Callaghan, lost 19 pregnant ewes, 12 lambs and one ram in the deadly attack.
Two dogs were voluntarily euthanised while the third – a staffy-cross – was on Friday declared a dangerous dog.
The Ballarat Magistrates Court released the dog, named Karma, from an animal shelter on O’Callaghan’s guilty plea to nine offences stemming from the incident.
Defence barrister Cameron Baker said his client did not have any other dogs, other than Karma, and would have to build an enclosure before collecting the dog from the animal shelter.
He said O’Callaghan had limited financial means and had accumulated large fees.
Magistrate Ron Saines convicted and fined O’Callaghan $1000 and ordered her to pay $7700 to her neighbour for the loss of sheep.
Aside from the court orders, she has more than $13,000 in animal shelter costs to the Golden Plains Shire Council.
“It’s a very costly lesson to understand that dogs are wild animals even though they may live in our lounge room and sleep on our bed,” Mr Saines said.
“People who don’t live in suburbs are under a significant obligation to enclose their dogs. The cost of failing to do so is illustrated in this case.”