Amber Heard to Plead Not Guilty to Illegally Smuggling Her Dogs into Australia

Justice for contraband pups Pistol and Boo.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s dogs are at the center of the couple’s ongoing legal battle in Australia.

After being charged with breaching Australia’s biosecurity laws by illegally importing in the couple’s two Yorkshire Terriers (two counts of illegal importation contrary to the quarantine act and one count of producing a false document to quarantine officials), Heard issued a statement today (Dec. 7) saying her lawyer will plead not guilty on her behalf.

Whilst I am unable to comment on the specific matters before the Court I would like to say that I respect the importance of Australia’s laws. My decision to defend these charges, as will become apparent in the appropriate forum of the Court, is not intended in any way to diminish the importance of Australia’s laws.

She added that she “will not be making any further statements.”

Australia’s notoriously strict quarantine laws and regulations are in place to prevent diseases like rabies from spreading. In order to bring an animal into the country, Depp and Heard needed to apply for a permit and quarantine on arrival of 10 days minimum.

Boo and Pistol were allegedly illegally brought into the country via private jet in April, when Heard was visiting Depp as he filmed Pirates of the Caribbean 5. The couple’s dog smuggling incident made headlines after Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, gave the couple a 72-hour window to remove the dogs, or else he declared they be euthanized as punishment for smuggling them in. He then proceeded to comment:

There is a process. You get the permits, they go into quarantine, then you can have them. If we start letting movie stars, even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice, to come into our nation, why don’t we just break the laws for everybody? It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.

Yeah, he really went there with the sexiest man alive comment (even though it was Heard who took the fall, while Depp got off scot-free).

The case gained international attention after an Australian politician threatened to euthanize the dogs if Heard and Depp didn’t have them “bugger off” back to the U.S.

If Heard is convicted on all charges, she faces up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to 112,000 Australian dollars ($81,600).