Man banned from owning pets after tormenting dog with hammer

A 35-year-old NSW man has been banned from owning a pet for five years after pleading guilty to five animal cruelty offences.

Footage filmed by “a witness” in Greenwich, on Sydney’s lower north shore, showed the defendant using a hammer to threaten and prod Ohlins, his 10-month-old Dobermann, the RSPCA said. The video also documented the man throwing the dog to the ground and lifting him up by the collar.

The examining veterinarian said the video revealed Ohlins was subject to torture and torment as well as physical and psychological abuse, all of which was unjustifiable. The RSPCA said the dog’s repeated attempts to escape indicate it was terrified.

The man was convicted in court after using a hammer to terrify his dog. Source: RSPCA NSW
The man was convicted in court after using a hammer to terrify his dog. Source: RSPCA NSW

RSPCA said when they first visited the man’s home July 7, the man denied allegations of cruelty. “The defendant was asked to produce the hammer used to threaten Ohlins, which was kept inside the dog’s enclosure in the backyard,” the charity added. “When the defendant walked inside the mesh cage to retrieve the tool, Ohlins cowered and scurried away in fear.” RSPCA then seized the dog.

RSPCA thanks witness who came forward with dog 'torture' video

As well as the five-year pet ownership ban, the defendant was sentenced by Parramatta Court on August 30 to three Community Correction Orders, which will be served concurrently. He must also pay RSPCA NSW $4,640.58 in animal care costs. The repeated and deliberate nature of the offences was considered when the magistrate refused to divert him into treatment under the mental health act.

Following sentencing, RSPCA NSW chief inspector Scott Meyers said a simple phone call can save the life of a dog like Ohlins, adding that all animals should be allowed “to live in a safe and loving environment”.

“We are incredibly grateful for the vigilant witnesses who came forward and reported this case,” he said. “This investigation highlights the powerful role that the community plays in helping end the suffering of animals and is a timely reminder to always trust your instinct and come forward if you witness suspicious behaviour.”

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