Dog attacked with axe

First Class Constable Andrew Reid with police dog Vector, who was struck in the head with an axe.
First Class Constable Andrew Reid with police dog Vector, who was struck in the head with an axe.

Thomas John Butler (24) pleaded guilty to causing an animal unnecessary harm, attempted burglary, two counts of stealing a motor vehicle, aggravated burglary, stealing, possessing a smoking utensil and breach of bail.

Police prosecutor Rod Murray said Butler failed to appear in court on January 4 and was cruel to a dog while running from police at Shoalwater on January 27.

Sergeant Murray said Butler was with another man and split up when chased by police. The police dog went after Butler, but when the handler called the dog back, it was bleeding from the head.

Sgt Murray said Butler told police he hit the dog with an axe and it was the dog handler’s fault. Butler told police he should have hit the handler with the axe.

In March last year, Butler also stole a car from the Centro Mandurah carpark belonging to a 90-year-old man.

In April 2012, Butler was a passenger in a stolen vehicle. Sgt Murray said Butler also tried to break into a Greenfields house but was interrupted by the owner.

The duty lawyer said Butler was genuinely remorseful about the injury to the dog. She said Butler was scared because the dog was aggressive and close to his face. Butler thought the dog was going to bite him so he struck the dog.

‘His comments to police were not seriously meant,’ she said.

She said Butler was on drugs at the time and had not had much sleep. Butler was also remorseful for stealing an elderly man’s car. It had been a spur of the moment decision. The burglaries were drug related.

The court was told Butler had a troubled upbringing and had already spent eight months in custody.

Butler was placed on an 18-month intensive supervision order, fined $200 and must pay the $1567 vet bill.