Removalists were seen leaving the rented Gold Coast home of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard on Thursday, after it was revealed the couple’s dogs could be seized and put down by Australian authorities, following claims they failed to declare the terriers when they arrived Down Under, last month.
A white truck from Browns Plains Removals was spotted driving away from the property where the star and his actress wife are staying as Johnny films the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
It is believed the couple transported their pets pooches, Boo and Pistol, from California to Australia on a private jet, arriving on the Gold Coast on April 20.
Australian Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce has taken a strong stance on the issue, hitting out at the 51-year-old actor and his wife, 29, for bringing their pets to Australia without adhering to the country’s strict laws.
Either they will have to be put down, but issuing the Hollywood star with a penalty was also a possibility.
On Thursday, the Department of Agriculture released a statement confirming that it became aware of an illegal animal importation earlier in the week.
‘A biosecurity officer attended a Gold Coast property on 13 May and found two illegally imported dogs’, it read.
‘The Department is now reviewing how the dogs were brought into Australia without an import permit.’
It is thought the actor arrived in Australia last month on his private jet at the old international terminal at Brisbane airport.
The Brisbane Airport Corporation and Hawkers Aviation, which processes VIP arrivals and departures at the airport, has referred queries regarding the dogs arrivals to Australian Customs.
They confirmed that private jets are subject to the same strict biosecurity requirements as any other aircraft or vessel entering Australia.
The Labor MPs spokesman Brett Chant said the dogs were now in ‘home quarantine’, but would not say where.
The department discovered the dogs were in the country after reports a handler had taken the terriers to a Gold Coast dog groomer in a handbag, the politician said.
The Courier Mail reported the pets were not left alone in the store because of ‘security reasons’.
The newspaper reported the terriers were like Amber’s ‘little babies’ and couldn’t be left on their own with strangers.
By Thursday, it appeared the pooches had been detained in most likely the couple’s home. Actor Johnny and partner Amber have now been given a 50 hour deadline to surrender their animals or they will be put down.
Meanwhile, public opinion has been running high, many appealing to authorities to let the two dogs stay.
A petition on change.org had 600 signatures in the first hour, and is now up to almost 3,000.