HAPPY HUSKY: Misty is now a healthy and well loved dog and is being cared for by Chloe Sawyer, pictured  outside Gladstone Courthouse. Chloe says Misty still misses her pal and sister Lady.
HAPPY HUSKY: Misty is now a healthy and well loved dog and is being cared for by Chloe Sawyer, pictured outside Gladstone Courthouse. Chloe says Misty still misses her pal and sister Lady. Mike Richards

VIDEO: Dog owner guilty but 'absolutely ashamed' of cruelty

UPDATE 6PM: Convicted of animal cruelty this week over his two pet Husky dogs that were left emaciated and flea ridden through neglect, Shane Heineger says he might now help out at the RSPCA.

"I'm happy to work at the RSPCA, why not," he said.

The court ordered that he do 240 hours of unpaid community work as part of his punishment.

Heineger, 41, and his partner Hollie Cornwell, 34, were convicted of three animal cruelty related offences involving their dogs Lady (he called her Sheba) and Misty.

Lady died in care some weeks after being rescued.

The couple both received three month jail sentences then immediately released on supervised parole.

They, along with his 18-year-old son Sean Heineger-Finley, were ordered to each pay $2100 in compensation to the RSPCA to cover the costs of the Huskies care.

Sean did not receive a jail sentence but will be supervised by corrective services for three years and must do 200 hours of community service.

Speaking to the Observer from the upstairs bedroom window of his South Gladstone house, Heineger said life had not been easy since their arrest in July 2014 because he scores verbal abuse in the street.

"I get called a dog killer," he said, sadly. "I'm blameless. But you can always do a better job.

"I accept full responsibility for what happens in this house. When the cops came I was shattered.

"I felt I was caught napping. It meant I didn't realise myself how bad they (the pets) were getting.

"I'm ashamed. Absolutely ashamed. Misty kept escaping. She'd always get out and she killed my cat.

"I do love all animals. I'd been fighting life threatening battles in hospital. My mother and father had been taking turns at feeding them.

"I came back and they were in a worse condition."

RSPCA Gladstone Friends president Judy Whicker, who has led numerous protests outside the court to highlight animal cruelty, said they were satisfied by the penalties but would have liked to have seen actual jail time.

"(The dogs) were so malnourished and emaciated. The neglect was obviously going on for some time," she said.

"Misty is now such a happy dog; well nourished and loved."

Police prosecutor Snr Sgt Estelle Carnes said police were happy with the sentences.

"It sends out a clear message that mistreatment of animals won't be tolerated."

EARLIER: THREE people charged with animal cruelty offences have faced Gladstone Magistrates Court, with two being sentenced to jail then release on parole.

Shane Heiniger  41, was sentenced to three months jail for animal cruelty offences to two pet huskies.

The Gladstone man was immediately released on parole.

For breaching his duty of care, Heiniger must perform 240 hours of unpaid community service work.

He must also pay $2100 compensation.

He is prohibited from owning an animal for five years.

His son Sean Heineger-Finley, 18, also pleaded guilty and must do 200 hours of community service work.

Sean must be supervised for three years by Corrective Services, and pay $2100 compensation.

Hollie Cornwell, 34, also pleaded guilty to three animal cruelty offences and must complete 240 hours of unpaid community service.

She was given three months jail immediately released on parole, and ordered not to acquire an animal for five years.

She must also pay $2100 compensation.

The trio was arrested by police late last month after failing to appear in court.

Friends of RSPCA Gladstone have been protesting outside court during the trio's appearances.

The charges relate to the state of two emaciated huskies rescued by Friends of the RSPCA last year after the trio starved and mistreated them for years, keeping them on a Gladstone veranda.

One of the dogs, 16, had to be put down, but the other recovered and has been joining protesters in their vigil outside court.



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