Rusty, the lost dog, was shot dead in a backyard. Please help bring his killer to justice.

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Was Rusty, the lost dog, shot and cruelly killed for nothing?

We, the undersigned, petition the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk - Queensland Premier, the Honourable Mark Ryan - Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Police Commissioner Mr Ian Stewart to ensure that police complete their investigation into the shooting and killing of the male dog known as Rusty, at Craignish, Qld on the 3rd November 2018 so that the alleged dog killer can be brought to justice.

A calm, peaceful beautiful morning. Just like any other day. And then a shot rings out. Immediately followed by the horrific cries of a dog in agony. A dog in pain. Neighbours from all around come out of their houses. One neighbour had been outside attending to her animals. A mother was hanging out her washing her children nearby. A next door neighbour was just returning home from work. They will never forget the sight they saw. It is alleged that their female neighbour was holding a rifle and moving towards a dog screaming in agony and trying to get away. But his back legs no longer worked. So Rusty was trying to crawl away while being harassed by the shooters own dogs. Rusty had been shot. One neighbour called out to the shooter to stop. But, allegedly, the woman waved the rifle around while turning towards her neighbour and swore at her. Once the shooter had moved her own dogs away from the wounded Rusty she raised her arms and shot once more. From a considerable distance away. The dog we now know as Rusty lay still. The woman who shot him twice simply turned and walked away. Not even checking to ensure Rusty was dead. Children were also witness to the horrific events of that day and are still traumatised by what they saw.

It is alleged by neighbours, who witnessed these events, that a female resident and neighbour, used a firearm to shoot, cruelly maim, and then kill the dog Rusty on the 3rd November 2018 at Craignish, Queensland. Rusty was a gentle timid Labrador Wolf Hound cross. He did not deserve to die that day.

We ask that the alleged shooter be charged under the Animal Care and Protection Act, the Criminal Code Act and/or the Weapons Act.

1. We request that all residents, particularly those living on small acreage allotments in residential urban areas, be protected via legislation, from anyone using a firearm in a reckless manner. The Queensland Weapons Act should be strengthened to ensure nobody can discharge a firearm unnecessarily in an urban area.

2. We further request that Police are provided with adequate resources and time to promptly carry out their investigations. It is not acceptable that witnesses to the killing of Rusty were not interviewed until several weeks had passed. It is not acceptable that this investigation is still not complete. It is over 3 months now since Rusty was shot and killed.

Police were called and attended the scene that day. Eventually the alleged shooter loaded Rusty’s body onto her small front loader and parked on her driveway with Rusty’s body visible to anyone. Later Council came and took his body away.

Maybe in a rural area this would not be a surprising or out of the ordinary event. Farmers do have a right to protect their property and livestock. But this was not a farm. The alleged shooter lives on a property classified as urban. It is within a small acreage development with lots averaging 1 to 2 acres (4,000sqm to 8,000sqm), in size. The property where Rusty was killed is at the end of a cul de sac with multiple neighbours sharing fence lines.

Rusty was a lost dog. His owners were desperate for his safe return. He had been seen wandering in the days before his killing, but he would not approach anyone. Neighbours allege that Rusty’s killer had previously caught him and contained him on her balcony. We have a photo of Rusty on the balcony. But Rusty got free before Council officers arrived to collect him. A neighbour alleges that the dog shooter threatened to “shoot him”, (referring to Rusty), if he came back onto her property.

Rusty was not aggressive nor threatening and not harassing stock. The property owner had no stock to protect. Rusty was shot twice. Wounded and in pain and being harassed and attacked by the alleged shooters own dogs for a considerable time, before he was finally killed with a second shot. Allegedly shot in a cruel and callous manner by a woman who could easily have helped return him to his now grieving owners.

Now the neighbours and their children live in fear. Fear of living next door to someone who, they believe, may do this again. A woman who, as far as they know, has not yet been charged with any offence.

Relevant Queensland Government Legislation

Animal Care and Protection Act 2001

Part 2 Cruelty offences
Animal cruelty prohibited
(1) A person must not be cruel to an animal.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), a person is taken to be cruel to an animal if the person does any of the following to the animal—
(a) causes it pain that, in the circumstances, is unjustifiable, unnecessary or unreasonable; …..

(g) kills it in a way that—
(i) is inhumane; or
(ii) causes it not to die quickly; or
(iii) causes it to die in unreasonable pain;
(h) unjustifiably, unnecessarily or unreasonably—
(i) injures or wounds it; or
(ii) overcrowds or overloads it.

Criminal Code Act 1899

Chapter 9 Breaches of the peace

Threatening violence
(1) Any person who—
(a) with intent to intimidate or annoy any person, by words or conduct threatens to enter or damage a dwelling or other premises; or
(b) with intent to alarm any person, discharges loaded firearms or does any other act that is likely to cause any person in the vicinity to fear bodily harm to any person or damage to property; commits a crime.

Weapons Act 1990

Part 4 Possession and use of weapons

Dangerous conduct with weapon prohibited generally

(2) A person must not—
(a) without reasonable excuse; and
(b) by the physical possession or use of a weapon; engage in conduct, alone or with another, likely to cause—
(c) death or injury to a person; or
(d) unlawful destruction or damage to property; or
(e) alarm to another person.