Actress Amber Heard and her husband Johnny Depp
Actress Amber Heard and her husband Johnny Depp attend the red carpet event for the movie "The Danish Girl" at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, northern Italy September 5, 2015. Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

Actor Johnny Depp’s wife Amber Heard failed to appear before the Southport Magistrates Court in Queensland on Monday on charges of dog smuggling, leaving the hearing adjourned until Nov. 2. Heard is facing charges of 10 years of imprisonment and a hefty fine for not declaring her two terrier dogs to customs officials.

Heard has been charged with illegally importing her dogs, Pistol and Boo, into Australia and for producing false documents to support it. The matter was brought under media attention after the dogs were spotted at a Gold Coast mansion, where Depp and Heard had been staying earlier this year.

The discovery sparked a public spat with Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce accusing Depp for illegally bringing in his terrier dogs on his private jet while he was in Australia shooting the fifth instalment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. The whole drama that ensued thereafter has been tagged as the “war on terrier” by the social media.

Legal experts, however, believe that it is unlikely for Heard to face a lengthy jail term since the dogs were taken back to U.S. before the expiry of a government deadline.

"If we start letting movie stars — even though they've been the sexiest man alive twice — to come into our nation (with pets), then why don't we just break the laws for everybody?" Joyce said at the time. "It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States."

Australia upholds strict quarantine regulations that have been laid down to prevent diseases like rabies within its boundaries. Permits are required to bring pets into Australia and quarantine of at least 10 days on arrival.

Depp and Heard had been given 72 hours to send the dogs back to U.S. with a warning that if they are unable to do that, Boo and Pistol would have to be euthanised. The dogs were sent back only a few hours before the deadline.

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