Woman fined after neighbor witnessed dog kicking

A 22-YEAR-old South Grafton woman a neighbour videoed violently kicking her pet dog has been fined $500 and the dog has been taken from her.

Fitzgerald St resident Mailee Hurst fronted Grafton Local Court on Monday where she pleaded guilty to a charge of inflicting cruelty to an animal (a dog) at South Grafton on April 29.

The RSPCA, which was the prosecuting authority, said one of its inspectors visited Hurst's residence on May 5, where he inspected the dog and interviewed the accused. He said the dog, a seven-month-old female mastiff cross, had no visible injuries.

During the interview the inspector showed the woman a video a neighbour took of her kicking the dog.

"I had a meltdown. I lost it and it's no okay," Hurst told the inspector.

After the interview, the inspector took custody of the dog because of concerns for its welfare.

On Monday the court heard that episode with the dog, which is deaf, began when it caught a bird in the yard of the house.

Hurst managed to get the wounded bird away from the dog, named Missie, but it escaped and the dog was able to catch it again and inflict further injuries.

The bird escaped again and despite its wounds was able to fly into a cactus to escape the dog.

Hurst dragged the dog away and tied it up.

She admitted she then kicked the dog, which became entangled in its lead. She disentangled the dog and kicked it again.

In addition to fining Hurst $500, the court ordered the RSPCA to seize the dog.

The RSPCA inspector who investigated the incident, Andrew Kelly, said the case highlighted community expectations about the welfare of animals.

But he said for better administration of justice people who witness animal cruelty should go to the authorities first.

"It would be better if the public sent any evidence of cruelty to RSPCA or police, rather than put it on Facebook ," he said.

He said the dog taken into care has good prospects.

"The dog is undergoing behavioural training and assessment at the moment, but has a beautiful nature," he said.

"Shelter staff think the dog can be rehomed appropriately."



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