Johnny Depp said an “emotional” goodbye to his beloved pups, Boo and Pistol, Friday as they boarded a private jet in Coolangatta, Australia, on their way back to Los Angeles, reports the Daily Mail.
Depp, who is in the country filming the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, has been accused of failing to declare his two dogs to Australian customs officials when he flew them into Queensland last month.
Australia has strict quarantine laws that prevent foreign guests from importing infectious diseases.
The actor injured his hand during production and flew to Southern California for surgery last month. The two Yorkshire terriers accompanied him on his return flight from the United States, per The Hollywood Reporter, and Boo and Pistol later caught the attention of customs authorities when they were photographed at a grooming salon close to the set of the fifth installment of the film.
Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced Tuesday that the actor would receive no special treatment because of his celebrity status, and gave him 50 hours to transport the pups back to the U.S.
“There is a process if you want to bring animals: you get permits, they go into quarantine and then you can have them,” he said. “But if we start letting movie stars – even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice – to come into our nation [and break the laws], then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?”
Joyce was asked what would happen to the dogs if Depp failed to remove them after the warning. He replied, “We’re going to have to destroy them.”
Depp notified the Australian government Friday afternoon their plans to leave; however, he has decided to stay behind to resume filming, according to reports.
Australian Channel Nine reporter Darren Curtis updated The Today Show when the dogs vacated the actor’s mansion in the guardianship of Depp’s father-in-law.
“Boo and Pistol didn’t get out and walk across the tarmac to their private chartered jet. They were driven straight into the hanger, carried in their cages straight on board and then allowed to walk around the cabin as felt free,” he said.
The Department of Agriculture confirmed Depp could still face fines as high as $340,000 for violating the quarantine procedures.
The Daily Telegraph reports the pups’ plane ride back to Los Angeles could cost as much as $400,000.
Furthermore, Joyce warned that Depp’s pups may have difficulties reentering the U.S.
“The question is if he breached our laws, then did he follow the correct laws in the U.S.,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “My worry is will the U.S. let them back in? If not, will they have anywhere to go?”
Joyce added that the Australian government already “bent over backwards” to ship monkeys through biosecurity checks for the newest Pirates of the Caribbean film.
“So they know what the deal is, and that’s why we are a bit miffed by them,” he said, indicating Depp intentionally ignored Australian laws. “They know our laws, abide by them.”
A spokesperson for Jetpets, which specializes in pet transit worldwide, told the Daily Mail that it’s a seven-month process to bring any kind of animal into Australia.
“Australian houses have very few diseases (such as rabies), so our live animals import regulations are very strict,” said the spokesperson. “There are many tests and vaccines that must be done on certain dates during the seven months by a government vet.”
The Australian government provided a $20 million tax incentive to producers of the blockbuster film, which is why it is being shot Down Under, but odds are, Depp does not feel very welcome in the country this week.
Production for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales began in February and will make its debut July 7, 2017.