Any dog will do when it comes to pooch charges
"IT'S not my dog."
A man appeared in Ballina Local Court this week to fight a fine imposed by Ballina Shire Council for not having a dog under control in a public place.
Representing himself, the man announced a plea of "not guilty".
He told the court he was "offended" by the charge, and even more so because the breed of dog on the infringement notice was not his dog.
But Magistrate Karen Stafford asked the man if he had a dog, and the man replied, "yes".
But it wasn't the dog on the charge sheet, he told the court.
However, Magistrate Stafford told the court that under the Companion Animals Act, the authority bringing the charge only had to prove a person had a dog that was not under control in a public place.
She said having the wrong breed of dog on the infringement notice was not a defence.
The man told the court he was walking his dog near Sneaths Ln at Wollongbar on a path "next to a paddock".
Magistrate Stafford told the court the pooch case would have to go a hearing based on the man's plea.
But the man had a think about what the magistrate had to say about the law, and decided to change his plea to "guilty".
Based on his explanation, Magistrate Stafford cleared the man of any charge and also the associated fines.