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Dangerous Dogs

Biting and aggression

All dog owners hope their pet doesn't show aggression towards other animals or people, but it can and does happen for many reasons. It is often a sign of irresponsible ownership. And… it is always against the law. Pet owners are responsible and legally liable for the actions of their animals.

We are all aware of the need to protect our community from the danger and fear of dog attack. 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.

Understanding responsible pet ownership

  • Always supervise children around dogs
  • Dog play can become rough and it 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.
  • Always use a leash when walking your dog in public and treat off leash areas with the same respect as other public areas. If you are going to let your dog run in an off leash area, always make sure you are watching your pet to monitor and control the situation.
  • There are additional special responsibilities for owners of restricted dogs and owners should contact Council for details.

Biting and aggression impacts on victims

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.

Council may declare a dog to be dangerous or menacing:

  • Where it has attacked, worried or injured any person or animal
  • Where it has been trained to attack people or animals for guard purposes
  • Where it has been declared dangerous by another local government or for any other reason prescribed by Legislation

There are laws to prevent dog attacks, and should your dog attack a person or another animal, you could be fined. You may also lose your 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 Legislation. When a dog is classified as Dangerous or Menacing the owner must:

  • Identify the dog by a microchip implant
  • Have the dog desexed
  • Ensure the dog is always muzzled in a public place
  • Display a sign advising of a dangerous dog on the premises
  • Pay a significant fee to keep the dog
  • Maintain the dog's registration with the Council at all times
  • Provide and maintain a proper fence or enclosure to prevent the dog from escaping