Man flees with pet dog convicted of sheep mauling in SA

Courier Mail ; AAP; Sept 18 2010

A MAN has gone on the run in South Australia after snatching his pet dog from death row when it was condemned to be put down for mauling sheep.

Ronnie Gilbertson has put his freedom and financial security on the line to protect the life of his dog, a Staffordshire terrier cross named Max, media reports said on Friday.

The 41-year-old has abandoned his partner and two young children and gone into hiding since breaking Max out of an animal shelter’s ‘death row’ last week.

Max was to be destroyed by Grant District Council, in the state’s south-east, for attacks on sheep and other dogs.

Mr Gilbertson had tried to have the SA District Court overturn the council’s decision, but failed.

The council has since launched court proceedings seeking to have Mr Gilbertson pay the costs associated with defending the failed appeal. He could face a bill of more than $20,000.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Man flees with pet dog convicted of sheep mauling in SA

  1. selwyn marock

    Mr Gilbertson “way to Go” Good Luck.

  2. companionanimalnews

    More news on this story:
    A MAN used boltcutters to bust his dog out of death row then went on the run with the pooch because of his love for the animal, a court has heard.
    Ronnie Gilbertson’s Staffordshire terrier-cross Max was to be destroyed last year by Grant District Council, in South Australia’s southeast, after mauling a neighbour’s dog.
    Gilbertson was given time to say goodbye, but instead the 42-year-old used boltcutters to free the dog from a cage then fled to Western Australia.
    He was arrested in July and recently pleaded guilty to contempt in relation to a court order for him to return the dog.
    In sentencing submissions in the South Australian Court today, defence counsel Joana Fuller said Gilbertson took his dog and fled out of his concern for his pet’s psychological wellbeing.
    “He could not bear the thought of returning Max to custody,” she told the court.
    “His actions were motivated out of a concern for his dog and only a concern for his dog’s welfare and nothing else.
    “His love of his dog clouded his decision making and judgment.”
    Ms Fuller said it was the strong bond between Max and Gilbertson – a bond that other people might not understand – that led him to free the dog and become a fugitive.
    She also told the court that Max had been euthanased by a vet in Perth after biting another dog.
    Ms Fuller asked the court to impose a suspended sentence.
    The council’s lawyer, Anthony Floreani, did not oppose such action but said his client would seek to recover costs.
    Gilbertson was remanded on continuing bail to be sentenced on a later date.

  3. Jan Baker

    This is a hard one…..I understand how this man must have felt….but when a dog goes off the rails & has a problem such as Max had I think it was time to take action…..I love my dog but if I had that trouble for my dog’s sake I too would have euthanased my dog……

  4. selwyn marock

    I often feel the same about my children “Go off the rails” You Kill em.
    Killing has become us perfect humans favourite passtime.

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