A DOG owner fired five nails into his pet's head because he did not have a car to take him to the vet to be put down.
When his mastiff, Winchester, did not die from the nail-gun attack, John Delahaye killed him by stabbing him in the neck and smashing him over the head with a sledgehammer.
The RSPCA has expressed disbelief that Delahaye has been spared jail.
Animal welfare campaigners say it is one of the most severe cases of cruelty they have seen.
Instead of being sent to jail, the Traralgon man was given a suspended sentence for killing the three-year-old dog.
And he will be able to own another pet within three years.
Asked on Friday if he was sorry, Delahaye said he was right to kill his "favourite" dog because "that's how they do it on farms".
The boilermaker said he grew up with relatives who had farms and they used to "take dogs out back and shoot them".
"I didn't have a car that could drive him to the vet and I didn't think of calling the pound," he said.
Delahaye said he was fed up with the dog because it barked at neighbours and escaped from his yard.
He also claimed the dog had attacked a relative, but the RSPCA said he did not initially mention that to its officers.
Delahaye described the July 2008 attack as stressful because he expected the nails to "go clear through his head" and kill his pet.
"I was already upset that I had to kill him because he was my favourite dog," he said.
"When I put the first nail in he made that noise, which made me more upset. I didn't want him in pain or suffering."
Delahaye shot the dog another four times in the head.
As Winchester lay yelping in pain, Delahaye dragged him inside the house and stabbed him in the neck with a knife.
When that failed to kill the dog, Delahaye picked up a sledgehammer and fatally smashed him over the head.
"I thought it would be quick and easy," he said.
"I thought it would go clear through his head. As I told the judge, an inch back and it would have killed him."
RSPCA inspectorate services manager Greg Boland said worried neighbours heard the dog's frantic yelping and called police, who then alerted the animal welfare organisation.
Delahaye pleaded guilty to knowingly causing unreasonable pain to an animal and was sentenced by Latrobe Valley Magistrates' Court to three months' jail.
But Delahaye appealed against the severity of the sentence in the County Court on April 28.
The judge reduced the punishment, directing that the sentence be suspended for 12 months, while banning Delahaye from owning domestic animals for three years.
But Mr Boland said the crime should have resulted in jail time.
"It would have been extremely distressing for the dog because it was screaming out in pain," he said.
"As far as we know there was no anger involved. It was a calculated act. It makes the blood chill - poor dog."
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