$7500 fine after dog attack

A MAN was fined $7500 after a dog attacked another dog in Byron Bay, prompting Byron Shire Council to again warn dog owners they are liable for their pet's actions.

Byron Shire Council's governance manager, Ralph James, said a dangerous dog visiting from the Woollahra council area, was unrestrained and had attacked another dog whilst in Byron Bay.

The dog that was attacked was being walked on a lead at the time.

A Sydney man was fined $7500 in a local court, plus costs of over $1500, Mr James said.

The dog that attacked had been declared a dangerous dog which was of serious concern to council staff.

"It was a strong warning that pet owners are liable for their pet's behaviour at home and in other locations when visiting.

"Once a dog is declared dangerous they must be kept restrained in a fenced yard, wear a prescribed distinctive collar, be on a lead and wear a muzzle when out being walked.

"If a pet owner takes the dog out of a council area, the council must be notified along with the visiting council area."

Mr James also said the magistrate gave serious consideration to a destruction order but declined to do so on the council's submission that the dog was housed in the Woollahra Council area and that Woollahra was dealing with the issue of the dog.

"The question of any destruction of the animal should be left to Woollahra," Mr James said.

Another recent dog attack case determined in mid June, saw a local man fined $4,000 and ordered to pay costs and expenses of $7,708 after his dog bit a neighbour.

The victim required 16 stitches and the dog was also declared dangerous as a result of the attack.

Dog facts:

  • Under the Companion Animals Act a dog can be declared dangerous if it, without provocation, attacks a person or animal.
  • Once a dog is involved in an attack and is declared dangerous, strict control requirements apply with future fines varying upward up to $22,000 in a local court.
  • Dog owners are reminded that dogs are not allowed to roam or leave a property, must wear a collar, identification tag, be microchipped and under the control of a competent person at all times when in public places.
  • Dog owners are required to carry a leash at all times when in leash free areas. This includes when entering or leaving leash free areas.
  • A dog attack includes a dog rushing at, attacking, biting, harassing or chasing any person or animal (other than vermin) and whether or not injury is caused.
  • Dog attacks can incur a minimum $550 on the spot fine. Convictions for some dog attack offences can also result in permanent disqualification from owning a dog or being in charge of a dog.

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