Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 1 June, 2023
# Wild thing
Woman fined because her puppy wasn't wearing a seatbelt
Police later admit that it wasn’t actually an offence.

IF YOU THINK dogs are exempt to the rules of the road, you may think again. A woman in Darwin, Australia was fined $184 when police discovered her pooch passenger was riding without a seatbelt.

Mel Bugg was pulled over at a breathalyser check point before her maltese-poodle Hendrix was spotted unrestrained in her passenger seat.

Hendrix jumped across to Bugg’s lap when she put down the window to talk to the police officer that pulled her over. When asked for a reason why her pooch wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, Bugg told NTA News that she wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing in letting her dog roam free while she was driving.

He said there were TV commercials telling people it was law, but I told him that I don’t watch TV because I hate ads.

The officer then ticketed a furious Bugg with a fine.

It didn’t get me anywhere because he still hit me with the $144 fine plus a $40 victim levy. I was furious. Hendrix is my baby – he weighs probably 2kg and I take him everywhere with me. I’ve lived in the Territory for 17 years and I have never heard of this. None of my friends were even aware of this.

Bugg was right, and she didn’t actually break any laws. A spokeswoman for the Northern Territory Police said that it had once been an offence under the Animal Welfare Act, but was repealed in February 2013. The process to remove the fine has begun but Bugg isn’t taking any chances, buying little Hendrix a pet seatbelt.

I’ve gone and bought him one but it was so hard as he is tiny and none of them fit him properly. I’ve had to buy the smallest one they had.


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