AU: Supreme Court rejects appeal to overturn Kerser’s death sentence

This is certainly not the news that I wanted to share in our continuing coverage of Kerser, a dog who was seized by Monash animal control officers in December because he resembled a banned breed.

Jada Applebee’s bid to have the Supreme Court overturn the death sentence of her dog, Kerser, has failed. A Justice rejected the appeal by Ms. Applebee based on legal technicalities. Ms Applebee was seeking to overturn a decision by the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) that classed Kerser as an American pit bull terrier, a restricted breed.

According to Monash Mayor Drieberg, under state government laws that were introduced to protect the community, they are now required to have the dog euthanized. Kerser is expected to be put down by the RSPCA this week.

In April, we learned that the Monash council’s designation of Kerser as a “pit bull” was upheld by VCAT. Kerser’s designation came despite a December Supreme Court ruling that slammed the process by which the Victorian government identifies pit bulls. The judge ruled that the physical characteristics of a dog must have a closer association with government guidelines for dangerous breeds. The Supreme Court’s ruling highlighted the difficulties in identifying dogs believed to be American pit bull terriers, and was considered to be a blow to the laws introduced in September 2011 that require “pit bulls” to be registered, microchipped, spayed/neutered, and muzzled when in public.

At Kerser’s 2-day hearing in February, three Monash animal management officers testified that Kerser was a restricted breed. This determination was made by visual identification, as well as measurements by tape measure of the dog’s head, eyes, cheeks and neck. Interestingly enough, the tape measurements indicated that Kerser was not a pit bull, but the animal management officer simply stated that the dog can have “flaws,” and the measurements don’t necessarily mean the dog is not a “pit bull.” Moreover, testimony was rendered by an international dog judge who argued that the council’s animal officers had erred in their measurements of Kerser.

Regardless, VCAT upheld the declaration by the Monash Council that Kerser is a “pit bull.” In upholding the declaration, VCAT Deputy President Lambrick found that Kerser’s head, muzzle, skull, body and eyes matched the pit bull standard as outlined under Victoria’s restricted breed laws. (i.e., the very same outline that was harshly criticized by the Supreme Court in December.) Specifically, Ms. Lambrick stated that while Kerser “may not be a perfect example of a pit bull, but he meets the standard to some degree and, importantly, in the areas of musculature and strength.”

Animal control laws are in place to maintain order and safety in the community, which begs the questions… Will Monash be safer now that a dog that never posed a threat to anyone will be destroyed? And how many other innocent family companions that happen to meet the vague standards of this senseless, biased and cruel law will fall victim to it?

We are incredibly disappointed to learn that the Supreme Court will not hear this case, and that Kerser will be killed simply because he has the appearance of a “pit bull.” My heart goes out to Kerser and Ms. Applebee.

Previous posts related to Kerser:


4 responses to “AU: Supreme Court rejects appeal to overturn Kerser’s death sentence

  1. People should be given the opportunity to adopt their animals out to someone outside of the country. I know several people who would take him. Please allow this dog to live somewhere else as he had no choice in the matter. He didn’t ask to be born or to be brought to where he was not wanted. Don’t punish this poor animal because some human made a mistake. That is unjust and unfair.

  2. This really bothers me. The fact that they think they can measure the body and features of a Canine with an unknown or half-known breed *aka a mutt or mix* ( and even some with known breeds) and decide whether the dog is a certain breed or not. There is a dog in the shelter I volunteer at that is a st. Bernard/ Akita mix and she looks a little like a pit in the facial structure; but she isn’t one. You can’t just look at an animal and go oh that’s a “Dangerous” breed. Just like you can’t look at a Red Macaw and then lawfully kill it because you “thought it was a duck.” Which is basically what people sound like when they murder *and i’m sorry that’s what it is. I don’t care how humanely you kill something that isn’t suffering, its still killing, its only “being humanely put down” if that animal is suffering* dogs because of how they look “Well I thought it might have been a pit bull” Is just a lie they tell people so they can get away with murder. The funny thing is that Pit bulls are actually amazing animals if they are raised right; people just put their blame at the wrong end of the leash. There are more POODLE attacks in a year than there are Pit bull attacks, (So why aren’t Poodles “Dangerous”) you just don’t hear about those because “poodles are so sweet and adorable and wouldn’t hurt a fly” (and nothing against Poodles i’m just using a true example,) So media doesn’t feel the need to tell us about them, just the Pit bull ones. What about the Pit bull that saved a woman and her baby from being assaulted, hm? Or the many Pit bulls that used to be amazing war dogs for the Military, Or the dozens of Pits that help people in therapy each year? Apparently to some the good of the breed doesn’t matter, but I strongly believe the good outshines that bad. People need to wake up. Really.

  3. Ahmed mohamed

    It s a crime to kill this poor dog …. We must stop them and save the poor dog… What can I do now that my family and I will never go to this country and will ask all my friends and everyone I know to do the same …. Justice god pls this poor need your help

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