Jack Minnis at Magistrates Court where he appeared for cruelty to animals charges. Picture: AAP/Richard Gosling
Jack Minnis at Magistrates Court where he appeared for cruelty to animals charges. Picture: AAP/Richard Gosling

Puppy basher’s excuse for attack

A BRISBANE man who held down a puppy and smacked it as it squealed in distress told investigators he hit the dog because it had been digging holes.

Jack Minnis, 23, today pleaded guilty in Brisbane Magistrates Court to breaching his duty of care for an animal by inappropriately handling it while a second charge of animal cruelty was dropped.

Jack Minnis at Magistrates Court where he appeared for cruelty to animals charges. Picture: AAP/Richard Gosling
Jack Minnis at Magistrates Court where he appeared for cruelty to animals charges. Picture: AAP/Richard Gosling

Minnis, who was caught on camera hitting the dog and is it cried out in distress, conceded to RSPCA investigators that he had gone "a bit far" when he attacked the cattle dog cross named Prairie because he lost his temper after falling in a hole the dog had made.

Lawyer Rebecca Fogerty, for the RSPCA, told the court that on March 2, 2018, the animal welfare agency had received a report that the day before, Minnis was seen picking up the puppy, taking it downstairs and the sounds of smacking and a squealing dog could be heard as Minnis' told off the dog for digging holes.

"The dog was heard screeching loudly and yelping along with 12 loud bangs," Ms Fogerty said.

Days later, the RSPCA received video footage from March 2, 2018 depicting Minnis holding the puppy and using his hand to smack her repeatedly while the dog can be "heard vocalising in a distressed manner".

Ms Fogerty said the RSPCA had attended the address on two previous occasions to investigate allegations of violence of mistreatment of Prairie.

Defence lawyer Nick Dore said Minnis, who was previously named as Australia's vocational student of the year, had completed an electrical apprenticeship, worked full time and had recently bought a house.

Mr Dore said Minnis and his partner had taken in Prairie who came from a litter of puppies who were shot by their owner.

"When spoken to by the (RSPCA) inspector, he was immediately tearful and remorseful," he said.

"He's a responsible young man."

Mr Dore said Prairie had since been given to a relative and that the RSPCA had no cause for concern about another dog that was still in Minnis' care.

He said Minnis had educated himself on dog obedience and that he was "embarrassed and remorseful" for his actions.

Magistrate Anthony Gett fined Minnis $3000, half of which will be given to the RSPCA, and ordered he pay a $99.50 summons and $1100 in professional costs.

No conviction was recorded.