Man learns fate after dogs’ brutal mauling of horse
AN ice addict whose pig hunting dogs violently mauled a beloved pet horse to the point it needed to be euthanised will spend at least the next three months in jail and will never be allowed to own an animal again.
Rhys Wayne Wilson, 29, was asleep in his car beside a Wrights Creek field in February when his two dogs, wearing full pig hunting vests, escaped their cage and attacked 17-year-old Galloway horse Solar in a nearby field, leaving him bleeding profusely from deep lacerations to his throat, jaw and flanks.
Witnesses rushed to the horses aid, using a shovel and spirit level to stop the dogs' relentless attack, before gathering blankets and bandages to try and stem the bleeding from the stricken horse - but it was to no avail with a vet later humanely euthanising Solar.
The Cairns Magistrates Court heard the witnesses saw the dogs return to the ute and when they approached and woke up the driver to tell him what happened, he responded "you're joking" before loading the dogs and driving away.
Wilson, who has three prior convictions for animal cruelty and was on parole for one of them at the time, was handed a 12-month jail sentence by Magistrate Cathy McLennan on Tuesday, along with a banning order.
Speaking outside court the horse's owner Troy Gardner said his family continued to grieve for Solar who he had owned for more than 16 years.
He said he was satisfied with the dog owner's penalty, although still hoped to recoup the $1500 price tag and $550 vet bill which was not ordered in court.
"I'm happy he copped some sort of punishment," he said.
"And that's a good thing (he was given a prohibition order) because once you lose your dogs it's like losing your children.
"That'll hurt him more than any jail time.
"We still get sad thinking about our old horse. I still can't talk about him without getting choked up. We've just got to slowly get over it."
Magistrate McLennan told the court Wilson's sentence must serve as a warning to other pig hunting dog owners which she labelled "inherently dangerous".
"It was no accident, it was your responsibility and your fault," she said.
"Owners should be aware if their dogs escape and injure another person or animal they will be dealt with severely by the court.
"It's not acceptable to have a pig dog and not be in control of it at all times."
Along with unlawfully maiming a horse, Wilson also pleaded guilty to evade police, unlicensed driving and drug and utensil possession.
The court heard he was found with a gram of ice and a pipe during his arrest at Redlynch.
Originally published as 'No accident': Man learns fate after dogs' brutal mauling of horse