A drug user who bloodied an officer with an extendable baton and dragged a police dog alongside a car says he isn't the type of person who would abuse animals.
Joel Simons was attempting to steal from a Holden at Cranbourne in Melbourne's southeast on September 18 last year when a dog squad officer saw him while driving past.
The officer got out of his car, put his hand on Simons' shoulder and said "police", prompting Simons to turn around and launch into an immediate attack.
Simons struck at the officer's face and head with a telescopic extendable baton and used his free hand to punch at the leading constable, the County Court of Victoria was told on Monday.
The pair got into a struggle and one of the baton strikes landed, leaving the officer with a deep laceration on his temple before Simons escaped the constable's clutches and ran to a Toyota Corolla.
The officer released his police dog, named "Duke", and both of them ran after Simons.
Duke bit Simons on his thigh as he reached the car door, and the dog and the officer both tried to haul the 36-year-old out.
Simons managed to start the vehicle and Duke stayed latched onto him when he drove away.
He dragged the dog some 150 metres alongside the car, prosecutors told the court.
The officer yelled for Duke to come back before the dog returned to him.
The dog was taken to an emergency vet with grazes to its right shoulder, inner thigh, all four feet and a full-thickness graze to its right knee, the court was told.
Simons, who was arrested the following day on September 19, on Monday pleaded guilty to intentionally causing injury, wounding an animal, driving while disqualified and attempting to steal from the Holden.
Police found the Toyota, which was earlier stolen from a car rental company, at Lang Lang about 70km southeast of Melbourne.
Defence lawyers said Simons had already served time behind bars for the attack, with Monday marking almost one year since he was placed on remand.
Simons has cognitive impairments that make him more compulsive and unable to deal with complicated circumstances, and he relapsed back into using drugs after he was forced to take time off work for his mental health, his lawyer said.
Beforehand, he was doing well and working seven days a week as both a labourer and an NBN optic fibre installer.
Simons was most upset about the animal abuse charge because he didn't consider himself someone who would abuse animals, his lawyer said.
He had spent much of his life homeless and hoped to secure long-term accommodation through the NDIS when he was released and move interstate.
Judge Carolene Gwynn said she wanted more information about Simons' circumstances before his sentencing.
He is next due in court on Thursday.