Dog attack carries heavy penalties

Published on 17 December 2018

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On 29 November, a Yea man pleaded guilty in the Seymour Magistrates Court, and was ordered to pay $9157 in fines and costs, following a dog attack which caused the death of another dog.

Murrindindi Shire Council’s Community Safety Officers responded to a report of a dog attack in August this year, and found that a dog had been attacked and killed by two others dogs in Craigie Street, Yea.

Mayor Sandice McAulay said Council is serious about ensuring dog owners are held accountable for any injury their dog causes to a person or animal.

“In this instance, we saw the worst possible outcome for the attacked dog – a family pet of eight years – which had to be put down due to fatal injuries sustained during the attack. It’s terribly upsetting for everybody involved,” Cr McAulay said.

“Council is in the process of declaring the offending dogs as ’dangerous’ under the Domestic Animal Act 1994.  If a dog is declared ‘dangerous’, Council impose a number of conditions on the owner to manage the risk posed to other animals and people by the dog. These conditions include keeping the dog muzzled and on a lead in public. A ‘dangerous dog’ must also wear an identification collar (these have orange and yellow fluorescent stripes) at all times to alert people to the dog’s ‘dangerous’ status.

“In the event of a serious dog attack, our Community Safety Officers may seize a dog for the duration of their investigation. In this scenario, the dog’s owners can be held responsible for the costs of Council having to hold the dog.

“I reckon we can all agree that preventative measures are the best course of action, especially if your dog doesn’t play well with other dogs or people. Easy steps you can take include making sure your yard is secure enough to keep your dog in and using a muzzle and/or short lead when you’re out in public with your pet, Cr McAulay said.

Council’s Community Safety Unit respond to emergency situations 24 hours a day. If you experience an incident where you or your dog has been injured as a result of a dog attack, please contact us on 5772 0333.