Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - CHRISTIE AN­DER­SON

THE num­ber of dogs de­clared dan­ger­ous has more than tripled in 12 months as Townsville City Coun­cil cracks down on ca­nines putting public safety at risk.

In the past fi­nan­cial year 37 dogs were de­clared dan­ger­ous com­pared to nine in the 2015- 16 year. So far this year 304 dog at­tacks have been re­ported to the coun­cil, which in­cludes at­tacks on peo­ple and other dogs.

The fig­ures show a slight re­duc­tion com­pared to this time last year when 319 at­tacks had been re­ported.

Com­mu­nity Health and En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee chair­woman Cr Ann- Ma­ree Gre­aney said the coun­cil needed to send a strong mes­sage to dog own­ers.

“The coun­cil is com­ing down hard on how dog at­tacks are man­aged, and own­ers of dogs that do the wrong thing are on no­tice,” she said.

“We know that most dog own­ers are re­spon­si­ble and do the right thing, but there are still too many at­tacks in the city, and too many re­ports of roam­ing dogs which are the main cause of trou­ble.” The coun­cil’s stance fol­lows a spate of hor­rific at­tacks.

On June 16 a man was bit­ten on the neck and his pomera­nian cross killed while he was walk­ing his dogs at Blue­wa­ter. Only three days ear­lier a labrador was at­tacked while on a morn­ing walk with its owner in South Townsville and re­quired emer­gency surgery.

On June 7, a Mount Louisa fam­ily woke to find their dog in their yard with punc­ture wounds that were so se­ri­ous the dog had to be eu­thanased.

Cr Gre­aney said own­ers whose dogs at­tacked peo­ple or other dogs could face harsh penal­ties in­clud­ing hav­ing their pet put down.

“The re­cent at­tack at Blue­wa­ter showed there can be se­ri­ous con­se­quences when dogs get out, and in this in­stance the dogs were de­stroyed,” she said. “The best way dog own­ers can pro­tect the com­mu­nity is to en­sure their dogs are prop­erly se­cured at all times. Hav­ing a dog that is de­clared as dan­ger­ous places a se­ri­ous im­post on the owner as ma­jor up­grades need to be made to their dog en­clo­sures, as well as pay a large in­crease in registration.”


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