Animal rights activist Patty Mark has expressed relief after the owner of a commercial dog breeding facility withdrew a demand for $10,000 compensation outside the Kyneton Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
The application for compensation related to a raid by Ms Mark and fellow activist Debra Tranter in January 2010, during which they removed three dogs from a breeding facility at Lancefield in the Macedon Ranges.
Ms Mark, of Elwood, and Ms Tranter, of Ferntree Gully, pleaded guilty to the theft of the animals in March and April last year.
Late last year, the dogs’ owner, Kerryn Moffat, lodged an application for $14,000 compensation under the Sentencing Act. Ms Moffat dropped her settlement proposal to $10,000 in the days before the court case but it was rejected by the defence.
The applicant, who did not appear in court, was seeking compensation for the value of one of the stud dogs, Oscar.
However, on Wednesday the application was withdrawn and the matter struck out by Magistrate William Gibb.
Oscar’s image has been used as the pin-up for anti-puppy factory group Oscar’s Law, which was founded by Ms Tranter.
On leaving the courthouse Ms Tranter said: “I’m just so happy that this is all over.”
Ms Mark said she did not hold the view that animals were “property” under the law but was relieved the case was over. “This means we can keep our resources and continue focusing on shutting down puppy farms around Australia,” she said.
Ms Tranter’s counsel Robert Richter QC said: “We’re very pleased that the matter has been resolved and that the matter has been struck out.”
In a statement submitted during the criminal proceedings last year, veterinarian Jolene Attard, who examined the dogs within hours of the 2010 raid, alleged they were in “extremely poor condition”. Ms Attard said all three dogs were malnourished, suffering from ear infections and dental disease. Their coats were matted and covered in faeces and one dog had wooden chips embedded in his scrotal skin. Ms Attard said the dog’s condition indicated “neglect on behalf of the person responsible for their care” and that “without attention to improved care, the health of these three dogs would have been seriously compromised”.