Stirling pensioner fined for poisoning dog with snail pellets on meat says she only wanted to scare them off

Antonietta Vetrone was fined after putting snail pellets on top of meat to deter dogs from defecating on her lawn. Picture: iStock
Antonietta Vetrone was fined after putting snail pellets on top of meat to deter dogs from defecating on her lawn. Picture: iStock

A 74-YEAR-old woman, fed up with dogs defecating on her front lawn in Stirling, claimed she did not want to harm any pets when she left snail pellets with meat outside – she just wanted to scare them away.

But Antonietta Vetrone ended up in Joondalup Magistrates Court last Friday on an RSPCA charge, to which she pleaded guilty, after a canine ate the meat and was poisoned in June, 2016.

Luckily, the animal was taken to a vet in time and not seriously harmed.

Magistrate Martin Flynn fined Vetrone $2400 with costs of $903.30 and a vet bill of $291.25.

Vetrone, a pensioner, cried during the hearing with her lawyer saying she felt “terrible shame”.

He said she placed the pellets on top of the meat in the hope that dogs would sniff it and run away, she did not mix it in to hide it.

“Her intention was not to bring harm to the pets,” he said.

“She wanted the dogs to come up and go ‘that’s not right’ and disappear.”

The solicitor said Vetrone “had a brain snap” after continually having to shovel dog poo off her lawn about four days every week.

This was made more difficult by the fact she had chronic physical ailments.

She had tried to leave dog waste bags next to her letter box for owners to fill but they went unused.

The lawyer said the Italian migrant had lived in Australia for 50 years and never been in trouble before.

Mr Flynn, who viewed character references for Vetrone, accepted her regret and said she was someone who had led an “exemplary life” and had “impressed” those who knew her.

But he said her actions could not be considered at the “very bottom” of offences.

“You took things into your own hands in a way that should not have happened,” he said.

“Poison is a significant form of harm.”

The RSPCA did not wish to comment on the matter.

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