A DOG owner, who maintained he did not cause the death of his border collie-cross by leaving it locked in a car for two hours, has been found guilty on a charge of animal cruelty.
In a tragic case of a man explaining the loss of his pet, Gregory Vincent Ellsmore, 25, of Sandy Beach, was this week fined $2000 in the Coffs Harbour Local Court.
Evidence against Ellsmore told how he was found digging a grave for his dog Tex in the backyard of his home by a police officer in November 2008.
Neighbours had earlier called police telling them the dog was locked inside a car and was yelping in distress out of a partially opened window.
The court heard the animal died shortly after it was released by its owners.
Crown prosecutors were able to prove that the dog was left without water in the car during the heat of the day between 1 and 3pm.
Bureau of Meteorology reports showed outdoor temperatures would have soared as high as 30 degrees celsius.
The police officer, who pressed charges against Ellsmore, said that when she arrived at the property she noticed a large amount of dried saliva on the outside of the car.
She concluded it was drool from a panting dog, which had run out of a window left rolled down by about 15cms.
Entering the backyard she recalled finding the accused digging a hole with the dog lying motionless next to him.
Ellsmore responded saying the dog’s name was Tex, which he had received from an RSPCA animal shelter.
He went on to explain the dog had been in the car, but had had a large amount of water to drink earlier in the day.