Johnny Depp has gotten himself into some sticky situations upon the silver screen, from fighting sea monsters in The Pirates of the Caribbean to searching for acceptance as a monster in Edward Scissorhands. However, Depp’s strangest battle to date also happens to be a real one – facing 10 years in prison or $265,000 fine for dog smuggling.
Once Upon a Time in Australia
While working down under on the newest installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Depp decided to bring along his two Yorkies, Pistol and Boo, without properly declaring them to the Australian government – a crime which they take very seriously.
The dogs were discovered after a pair of Aussie dog groomers couldn’t resist the opportunity to post pictures to Facebook of them mugging with the celebrity dogs.
The government was made aware of Depp’s digression after seeing the viral grooming photos. Customs had checked his plane when he landed in Australia and saw no signs of dogs, meaning they were hidden from the government to avoid the declaration and quarantining process.
Why You Need to Declare
For islands like Australia that are protected on all sides from other countries, it is not out of reach to completely eradicate a disease like rabies. In fact, the CDC has officially declared Australia a rabies free jurisdiction. And they would like to keep it that way.
All it takes is one foreign animal with rabies to breach their shores and the whole thing is shot to heck. That is why Australia and other island nations (like Hawaii) have incredibly rigorous tests that need to be done before an outside animal is allowed to roam free on their protected soil.
Animals looking to go abroad to any of these nations will likely undergo a weeks long quarantine, in which they will be tested thoroughly for any foreign bodies that could potentially run roughshod across their unsullied land. And while the measures taken are put in place to protect a nation from dangerous diseases, they can be quite exasperating.
What Do You Think?
No question Johnny Depp broke the law when he snuck his two Yorkies into Australia. Also, there is a good chance he knew what he was doing, since customs remembers searching his jet, but found no evidence of the dogs that were invariably aboard; this implies that he deliberately hid the dogs . However, 10 years in prison does seem a bit steep.
Do you think Depp deserves to do the time, or does Australia need to rethink the way they punish pet smugglers? Let us know!