Actor Amber Heard Pleads Guilty To Illegal Dog Importation
Last May, Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce accused movie star Johnny Depp of smuggling his little terriers (Boo and Pistol) aboard his private jet when he returned to Australia to continue filming the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.
Since then, prosecutors have accused Depp’s wife, Amber Heard, of illegally importing her two Yorkshire Terriers and providing a false immigration document for her dogs. The illegal importation count could have sent Heard to prison for up to 10 years. Although prosecutors have dropped the initial charge, Heard has pleaded guilty to the latter, which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail, plus a fine of just over $10,000 US.
The reason why this carries such a heavy fine is because Australia has strict regulations to prevent diseases such as rabies from spreading to its shores. If one would like to bring a pet to Australia, you need to first apply for a permit and then quarantine your pooch for a minimum of 10 days.
Depp and Heard were given 72 hours to send Pistol and Boo back to their United States home, after a threat of euthanization was hurled at the famous couple. The dogs took a flight back to their home just hours before the deadline.
Joyce was quoted as saying that no person – movie star or not – is above and law, and “it’s about time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.”
Related: All About Yorkshire Terriers
While the spat ensued, many poked fun at the drama with one newspaper website running a “doggie death countdown” which marked the hours before the dogs had to leave the country in order to escape being euthanized.
Comedian John Oliver raved about the ordeal for over five minutes and even Depp himself thought Joyce was blowing the entire situation out of proportion. When asked if he planned to take his dogs for a gondola ride in a press conference in Venice last year, he replied “No. I killed my dogs and ate them, under direct orders from some kind of, I don’t know, sweaty, big-gutted man from Australia.”
While Australian law should definitely be upheld whenever someone – movie star or not – steps onto Australian soil, threatening to euthanize them should they not leave seems a little bit extreme. What do you think? Let us know what you think about the situation in the comments below.
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