Responsible dog ownership

Jan 22, 2019 | Front Page Feature, News

A number of dog related incidents have come to light over the past few weeks resulting in investigation by North Burnett Regional Council.

Did you know that last year our officers responded to 305 service requests resulting in 319 enforcement actions.

Pet owners are responsible and legally liable for the actions of their animals, and it is the responsibility of pet owners to ensure the protection of others and to ensure our community feels safe and can enjoy public spaces. Aggressive animals have no place in public areas unless under close and direct supervision.  Should a dog attack occur, medical treatment should be sought immediately, then the attack should be reported to Council.

Being bitten or attacked by a dog can result in 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.

There are laws to prevent dog attacks, and should a dog attack a person or another animal, the owner can be fined. The owner may also lose their dog. Once a dog has attacked, Council may list the animal as a ‘Dangerous Dog’ or ‘Menacing’ and the owner must comply with the special conditions listed in the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 and the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Regulation 2009, and will require a permit from council.

An authorised local government officer can declare a dog to be dangerous or menacing if it:

  • has attacked, or acted in a way that caused fear to, a person or another animal
  • may, in the opinion of an authorised person, seriously attack or act in a way that causes fear to a person or animal.

All restricted, declared dangerous and menacing dogs must be microchipped, wear an identification tag, be kept in an enclosure with a sign displayed, and be kept under effective control.

Note: Declared dangerous dogs and restricted dogs must also be desexed and muzzled in public.

If you or your pet has been attacked by a dog, contact North Burnett Regional Council on 1300 696 272 (1300 MY NBRC) to provide as many details as possible including:

  • Date, time and location of attack
  • Description of how the attack occurred
  • Description and location of the attacking dog.
  • If you have been bitten by a dog, visit a doctor as soon as possible for appropriate treatment. You may request a written statement from your doctor that your injuries are consistent with a dog bite. You can also take photos of your injuries which may assist with Council’s investigation.

If your pet has been attacked, take your pet to the vet so its injuries can be assessed. Sometimes there may be few external signs of injury but internal injuries may have occurred. if in doubt, call your vet for advice.

Once an incident has been reported, Council will investigate the alleged attack and collect the following information:

  • Interviews from the victim, witnesses and dog owner
  • Statements and Statutory Declarations from the victim, witnesses and dog owner
  • Photo evidence of injury to the victim from the incident.
  • On completion of the investigation the Local Law Officer will make a recommendation and inform everyone involved.

Preventing a dog attack is the owner’s responsibility (by law).  Owners can help keep their dog and the community safe by:

  • regularly checking their fence and shutting gates; your dog shouldn’t be able to go over, under or through the fence
  • when out in public, keeping your dog on a leash no more than 2 metres in length unless in a designated off-leash area and that the dog is controlled whilst on leash
  • train your dog to return to you on command when in an off-leash area. Recall training doesn’t take long and provides great stimulation for your pet
  • socialising your pet to decrease aggression, fear or anxiety behaviours towards other dogs and people; and
  • desexing your pet; desexing greatly decreases the risk or wandering or displaying aggressive behaviour.

For more information regarding responsible dog ownership please see Council’s website, phone Council’s Compliance team on 1300 696 272 (1300 MY NBRC) or email Council.

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