The actor smuggled the dogs into the country without declaring them to quarantine. Now he has two days to send them back, or else.
Stars: they're just like us. All they want to do is live a normal life and do normal stuff like bring their dogs to work. The only difference is that they have the resources to charter a private jet so they can smuggle their pets to an island nation across the world, breaking local laws designed to prevent a disease outbreak. Also, once they're caught they expect to get away with it, just because they're famous. Other than that, they're like us.
Johnny Depp is in hot water right now with the government of Australia. He's there filming the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie (yeah, another one) on the beautiful Gold Coast. He even rented a multi-million dollar mansion to stay in until photography is completed. The problem with multi-million dollar mansions, though, is they feel so empty sometimes. That's when you need to fly in your dogs from 7,000 miles away.
After flying back to the states for surgery on an injured hand, Depp returned last month with the two Yorkshire terriers, Boo Boo and Pistol, on his charter jet. Officials had no idea until the dogs showed up at Happy Dogz, a local dog groomer.
Boo Boo and Pistol looking less happy than the people at Happy Dogz. (via Happy Dogz)
That's when the situation came to the attention of Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. Mr. Joyce had no patience for Depp's antics, warning him that he had three days to send the dogs back to the US, or they would be euthanized. When the actor didn't comply, Joyce called a press conference.
Striking an indignant tone, Joyce told the media that Depp had 50 hours left to remove the dogs. He insisted that "Jack Sparrow" would not be given special treatment, even if he has been the "Sexiest Man Alive" twice. Jealous, Mr. Jones? He ended with a frank proclamation:
“It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States."
You'd think that Barnaby Jones, a man with the first name of a dog, would be more sympathetic to the cute little terriers, but what he's saying actually makes perfect sense. Quarantine laws exist for a good reason, especially on an island nation like Australia. Those laws have successfully kept rabies out of the country, in addition to many other infectious diseases that have the potential to devastate the local wildlife. And while it's unlikely Johnny Depp's dogs are rabid, you can never be too safe. Nobody in Australia wants another cane toad situation.
A petition to allow the dogs to stay has already gathered over 12,000 signatures from Depp's fans, who, unlike his dogs, are definitely rabid. Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that Minister Joyce will back down. Like he said, if allowances are made for celebrities, "why don't we just break the laws for everybody?"
Also, despite his bad boy persona, I doubt Johnny Depp will defy Australia and risk having his dogs put down. That would probably start a big argument with his wife, Amber Heard. Forgetting to walk the dog starts a lot of fights between married people. I can't imagine what getting the dogs killed in an international incident would do.