Being bitten or attacked by a dog can produce serious physical, psychological and emotional effects, not only for the person who is attacked but also for the owner of the attacking dog. Even if the victim is not bitten, the threat of the attack can cause lasting trauma. How would you feel if you were the victim?
Aggressive dogs are often a sign of irresponsible ownership. Pet owners are always responsible and legally liable for the actions of their animals. Aggressive animals have no place in public areas unless under close and direct supervision.
Under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 dogs that act aggressively and cause fear as well as those that attack and cause injury or death may be declared menacing or dangerous. If the declaration proceeds the declared dog must be kept under strict conditions and higher registration fees will also apply.
Here are some tips for responsible ownership of your dog and to reduce the chances of your dog being in a situation where it might become aggressive:-
- Always supervise children around dogs. Dog play can become rough and may sometimes result in a bite. Constantly monitor your children when a dog is around and never leave babies or young children alone with a dog;
- Keep children away from a dog if it is sleeping, feeding (especially chewing a bone) or if recovering from an illness or injury;
- Always check to see that your fencing or dog enclosure is secure. Keeping your dog confined will greatly lessen the risk to others in the community; and
- Always use a leash when walking your dog in public.
If you or your pet are unfortunate enough to be attacked or bitten by an aggressive you should report the following details to Council immediately:-
- Your name and address;
- The date, time and location of the attack;
- A full description of the dog (eg. colour, breed, size);
- The identity and address of the owner of the dog (if possible).
Following an investigation if the dog and it’s owner have been identified Council may declare the dog as dangerous or menacing, issue fines and/or seize the dog.
Currenty the annual registration fee for a declared dog is:
Menacing: $209 (if desexed) or $272 (if entire)