Animal cruelty accused dogged by protesters
CHANTS, placards and a strong message came from more than 20 people outside the Gladstone courthouse yesterday.
Animal rights protesters made their presence and opinions know as three people, accused of starving two husky dogs, were scheduled to appear in court.
The accused, Shane Richard Heineger, Sean Joseph Heineger-Finley and Hollie Belinda Cornwell, were expected to appear in court at 9am but kept the protesters waiting until after 10am.
One of the protesters, Shelly Holzheimer, said she was there to give animals a voice because they don't have one.
"We are protesting against the minimum sentence for people charged with cruelty to animals," she said.
"Someone has to hand down a sentence that deters perpetrators.
"People who purport to love their animals should be here too if they can."
Friends of the RSPCA president Judy Whicker said protesters were not just protesting for the animals involved in the case.
"The dogs have been in our care for a couple months but it's not just about dogs and cats," she said. "It's about koalas, kangaroos, alpacas and all creatures great and small."
The case was adjourned.
The three accused left the courthouse via an alternative exit and did not confront the protesters.
A protester ran after them and shouted "you scumbag" and then gave up the chase.