Molly evidence circumstantial

A DOG sentenced to death based on “circumstantial evidence” that it killed sheep at Glendyne Education and Training Centre will be destroyed in 28 days if its owner does not lodge an appeal.

Molly the great dane-cross has already spent about eight months at the council pound after being caught in a sheep paddock at the school on March 16.

Owner Frances Gala said she would appeal a decision by Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal member Susan Bothman to uphold the council’s destruction order.

Ms Bothman advised the council of her decision this week, three weeks after a QCAT hearing at the Hervey Bay court-house.

Six people gave evidence during the hearing.

Glendyne cleaner Erica Hansen said she discovered the dead sheep when she arrived for work at 5.30am.

Three hours later she saw two dogs in the sheep paddock – one was Molly.

Ms Hansen said she saw blood on Molly and took a photo with her mobile phone but she could not produce the image because she deleted it.

Ms Hansen’s husband, Dale Hansen, the principal of Glendyne school, said he saw mud and blood on both dogs when he saw them about 8.20am.

Agriculture teacher Mark Macrae also said there was blood on both dogs but they both appeared “quite tame” and did not display aggressive behaviour towards any person or animal.

None of the witnesses saw Molly attack the sheep and a photograph taken that morning by council compliance officer Gaye Ah Quay showed Molly had no blood on her.

“I don’t recall any blood on Molly,” Ms Ah Quay told the tribunal.

Ms Ah Quay said she did see blood on the paw of the other dog, which was not claimed by anyone and has been euthanised.

In her closing comments, Ms Gala’s barrister, Sarah Laikind, said the evidence against Molly was circumstantial.

“Molly is a beloved family pet and ... in a matter where the evidence is circumstantial, she should be given the benefit of the doubt,” Ms Laikind said.

Ms Gala said she didn’t know where she would find the $3800 in impounding fees the council was asking for, or the $500 filing fee for the appeal.

“I’ll just have to pay it off,” she said.

“I couldn’t see how they could rule against Molly.

“They didn’t have much in the way of evidence, except that Molly was there.

“Any dog could have been passing through.”

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