A family’s beloved pet dog is set to be put down after it killed a guinea pig and a chicken.
Aspen’s owners, Alexandra and Graham Johnston, appeared before a High Court judge in New Zealand earlier this week to plead their case, saying that their husky’s conviction was unjust.
Justice Edwin Wylie dismissed the appeal and said the court “did not err” in its original findings, LADbible reports.
Aspen originally began chasing the chickens in Torbay, a suburb of the city of Auckland, in 2019, and nine months later he was off leash again and killed one of the animals.
During the same incident, the pooch also killed a child’s guinea pig at a neighbouring property.
Alexandra Johnston argued in court that the chicken owners were to blame for the incident because the birds were outside of a property when Aspen saw them.
She had also previously claimed that there’s no proof Aspen killed the guinea pig, saying the animal could have died of fright and maintains that there were no bite marks visible on it.
The Johnstons claim they saw the rodent after Aspen attacked it and said it was alive, before later dying that night.
They allege that they offered to replace the pet, but the family chose not to accept said offer. The guinea pig’s owners deny their pet survived the attack, saying it died during the incident.
They also took to social media to say that they never called for Aspen to be put down, but instead asked for him to be rehomed.
Justice Wylie dismissed both arguments however and said: "It seems that no one actually witnessed Aspen killing the chicken or the guinea pig but he was seen with both animals in his mouth at different times.
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"The inference that it was Aspen who killed the chicken and the guinea pig is irresistible. The [district court] judge cannot be criticised for drawing this inference."
The Johnstons had previously filed a petition to New Zealand's Parliament to give judges more discretion when passing rulings associated with pets and pushed for dogs to be given three chances if an attack is not fatal or against a human.
They have previously used the argument that cats are not sentenced to death for killing birds and that Aspen was acting within his nature when he attacked the chicken.
Alexandra Johnston said in court: "It has become bigger than our dog. It is an issue for all dog owners – they are being prosecuted for dogs being dogs.
"You are crucifying dogs that are good dogs."
Despite a Change.org petition to save Aspen’s life having gathered over 10,000 signatures, Justice Wylie said the case was beyond appeal.
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