Owners are responsible for their pet's actions. If your dog attacks or injures another person or animal it may be declared dangerous, and there are serious consequences which include:
- increased registration costs of $250 per year
- strict enforcement for confining your animal
- your dog may be seized and destroyed
- up to $10,000 fine if your dog kills another animal; or
- State legislation is also being considered which could impose up to 10 years imprisonment if your dog kills a person.
It is important that owners take precautions to avoid their dog attacking a person or animal. If you are an owner, you should:
- ensure your dog is appropriately contained in your yard and it cannot escape - 90% of dog attacks are committed by wandering dogs
- always supervise children around dogs - particularly if a dog is sleeping, feeding or recovering from injury or illness
- ensure your dog is registered with Council - it is against the law to keep unregistered dogs; and
- train your dog.
Dog attacks should be immediately reported to Charters Towers Regional Council by phoning 4761 5300 - this number should also be used for after hours attacks.
How does Council respond to a dog attack?
- A Council Officer will attend the premises to inspect the dog and its enclosure.
- The Officer will speak to the complainant and discuss the complaint process.
- The Officer will speak to the dog's owner/keeper if they are present; at this point they may voluntarily hand the dog over to Council for it to be destroyed.
- If the owner is not available or chooses not to surrender the dog, the complainant can choose to proceed with a formal complaint and will be required to provide:
- Statement of the incident
- Comprehensive list of any witnesses (name/contact number/address)
- Any photos taken of injuries
- Any medical/veterinary reports and receipts
- A Council Officer will contact the complainant to conduct a formal interview and the complainant will be requested to attend a Court hearing should the matter escalate to that point.
If Council prosecutes a dog owner, the complainant may be required to give evidence during Court proceedings.
If a complainant chooses not to make a formal complaint, Council will investigate the incident and, with the evidence, consider whether enforcement against the owner will be taken for any breaches of the relevant legislation.
Dog attacks are legislated under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.
Council takes all dog attacks seriously. Dog attacks should be immediately reported by phoning 4761 5300 - this number should also be used for after hours attacks.