Dog owners could end up in jail and their dog would be destroyed if a person was mauled to death.
Burdekin Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Ken Holt said dog owners needed to realise there were very real consequences if their pets were to kill a person or another animal.
“No matter what age, breed or temperament, their dog had the potential to harm or injure another person or animal,” he said.
“We have had 22 dog attacks in the past three months, with six of those resulting in animals being killed.
“If your dog attacks or injures another person or animal Council may declare it dangerous and therefore your registration costs increase to $300 annually, your dog may be seized and destroyed, you may face a fine of up to $10,000 if your dog kills another animal.
“These are real consequences and dog owners really need to ensure their pets cannot escape from their yard or enclosures.”
Mr Holt said the current major problem was dogs roaming the streets at night and attacking other animals. “Dog owners need to start doing the right thing by other residents and keep their dogs under control and within their enclosure.”
Under State Legislation, Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, the Council was required to act on animals which were causing fear to residents or other animals.
“People need to understand that if their dog is found outside its enclosure, unrestrained and a member of the public walks past, and if in that person’s opinion the dog creates fear upon them, Council has the ability to declare the dog menacing or dangerous,” Mr Holt said.
“Animal Management staff are doing early morning and late evening patrols in an effort to catch dogs roaming the streets and reduce these sort of attacks.”
Mr Holt said residents could also help Council staff find aggressive roaming dogs by taking note of its colour, size, breed or distinguishing marks and where the dog came from or was heading.
“If the community can promptly supply detailed information of any incidents, the Council has more chance of finding the animal involved,” he said.
“Investigating dog attacks can take quite some time, but having detailed information enables the animals involved in these attacks to be declared menacing or dangerous.”
For information on what to do regarding dangerous or aggressive animals, please contact the Council Call Centre on 07 4783 9800.
Media contact: Ken Holt (07) 4783 9812