A Chinese university student has been banned from owning animals for five years after a neighbour recorded him violently hitting and kicking his pet dog on the balcony of a unit block in Wollongong.
Xudong Zhang, 25, was videoed repeatedly beating his white Samoyed with a thick, plastic-coated metal clothes hanger causing it to yelp in pain on the afternoon of July 31 last year.
The footage, released to the Mercury by Magistrate Mark Douglass, shows Zhang hitting the animal three times while it is unrestrained on the balcony, then putting a collar around its neck, some material over its muzzle and tying the dog to the balcony handrail with a chain.
He then grabs the animal by its fur, manoeuvres it to lie in front of him as he crouches over the dog and heavily whips it seven times around the back and head with the coat hanger.
The dog can be heard yelping and is seen to writhe in pain each time it is struck.
Zhang stops momentarily and the dog gets to its feet, prompting Zhang to hit it again on the back with the coat hanger.
The dog scurries to the other end of the balcony and Zhang walks through a sliding door into the unit, however when the dog turns around and proceeds towards him, Zhang opens the door again and delivers a cruel kick to the dog’s head with his right foot.
Documents tendered to the court this week said the video was sent to the RSPCA the following day, and the dog was immediately seized by inspectors.
During a formal interview three days later Zhang freely admitted hitting the animal as punishment for damaging his furniture.
In Kiama Local Court on Friday, Zhang’s lawyer, Matt Ward, said there was no visible bodily harm to the dog, and his client deeply regretted his actions.
The court heard Zhang, an UOW student who had just completed his degree in mining engineering, had written apology letters to the RSPCA after the incident.
Magistrate Douglass asked for an options report to be prepared ahead of Zhang’s sentencing in March, however made formal orders on Friday handing over ownership of the Samoyed to the RSPCA and banning Zhang from owning or possessing animals of any sort for five years.
It is understood the dog is being kept at RSPCA Unanderra.