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Mother goes to extreme measures to stop her ‘gentle’ staffy named Sarge being put down

A mother has spent more than $32,000 in legal fees trying to save her ‘gentle’ Staffy from death row after he attacked two dogs, killing one.

Sunshine Coast mother Kara Chaplin has gone to the Supreme Court in a bid to save her beloved American Staffordshire terrier cross ‘Sarge’ from being put down.

The ten-year-old Staffy was put on death row in March last year after escaping her back yard through the garage and attacking a passing dog.   

It was Sarge’s second offence, after he ran through a faulty gate in 2016 and killed a small dog. 

He was declared a ‘dangerous dog’ following the first attack and Ms Chaplin was ordered by her local council not to take Sarge out of the house without a muzzle. 

On Friday, Ms Chaplin filed an appeal at Brisbane Supreme Court after she lost an appeal to save the dog’s life in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on June 3.

The mother wrote on a Go Fund Me campaign set up to help with legal costs that she has spent $32,295.18 of her life savings battling the case in court.

‘[It] which was my money, savings, family and friends’ money, donations from complete strangers who are supporting us,’ she wrote on the campaign page.

Ms Chaplin has raised more than $14,000 so far.

It is the first time a case of this nature has been taken to the Supreme Court. 

The Tribunal would not overturn the Sunshine Coast Council’s decision on April 16 last year to put Sarge down over fears he likely attack again.

The staffy has been awaiting death at the council-run pound for almost 16 months while Ms Chaplin fights for her beloved pet’s life in court.

Sarge is required to remain behind a wire fence while his family visit him in custody.  

Ms Chaplin claimed she spent $7,000 on a new fence with self-closing gates to keep the dog contained on her 13-hectare property, should he be freed.   

The victim of the second attack suffered a scratch on its face and Ms Chaplin paid $881 for the owner to take their pet to the vet. 

She was also fined $3,829 in the Magistrates Court for the second attack.

The mother used the donations to pay for reports by an animal behaviourist to be used in court. 

‘Sarge is not just a dog, he is our family member and he is loved dearly,’ Ms Chaplin wrote.

‘Sarge had a very normal life interacting with all kinds of dogs at off leash beaches and off leash parks where he had no issues at all.

‘Euthanasia should be the absolute last point of call.’

Ms Chaplin said she took Sarge home when he was eight weeks’ old, eight years ago. 

There is no set date for the Supreme Court hearing.

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