Dog Attacks

Any attack or harassment by a dog can cause fear or serious injury and is of great concern, particularly if it involves a young child or an elderly person.

Council relies on members of the public to report all dog attacks especially those that have occurred on private property. Reporting all incidents helps Council address problems appropriately and identify emerging issues.


What is a Dog Attack?

Council has established and defined two levels of dog attack. (55A Attack by dogs)

Level One:

The dog bites, or holds a person or animal in its mouth, whether or not the holding is accompanied by biting, shaking, pulling or pushing or the person or animal suffers an injury, physical or otherwise.

Level Two:

The dog approaches, chases, menaces, harasses or rushes at a person or animal in a manner endangering or causing fear, alarm or distress to the person or animal. This may include cases where a dog rushes a fence as pedestrians go by and the pedestrian feels fear of an attack.


Reporting a Dog Attack

If you are attacked by a dog on private or public property please report it to Council as soon as possible on 8930 0600. This will help Council to respond quickly and effectively. You will need to give Council certain details about the event, including date, time, location and a sequence of events. The Council Ranger will talk you through the appropriate complaint process.


Enforcement

If your dog has attacked you are guilty of an offence and Council has at its disposal a range of options. (Section 69 Dog attack)

As the owner, you may be prosecuted and fined or jailed. Council may also destroy your dog. All dogs that have committed an attack are placed on the Declared Dog Register as a category one dog or category two dog. In the event of a level one attack the Council may prosecute the owner of the dog, seek appropriate fines and the destruction of the dog.


Declared Dogs Register

Council maintains a declared dog register which records the details of dogs that have committed certain acts, including attacks. Their owner’s details are also recorded. If your dog is placed on the Declared Dog Register, extra conditions are placed on your dog’s registration. These conditions relate to the dog’s care and control.

The conditions may include:

  • Placing signage at premises where your dog is usually kept. The words ‘Warning Dangerous Dog’ must be clearly legible and visible from all boundaries of the property.
  • Only allowing your dog in public places when it is in the care of a person over the age of 17 and that person can control the dog.
  • Registering the dog as a declared dog and paying the appropriate fees.
  • Microchipping the dog.
  • Placing a muzzle on the dog every time it is outside the premises where it is usually kept.

You will also be required to comply with any other conditions imposed by Council. (55B Declared dog category 1 and 55C Declared dog category 2)


Prescribed breeds

Council may decide a particular breed of dog to be a prescribed breed. If a dog is entered onto the prescribed breeds register, it will automatically be added to the declared dog register.