Dog owners warned to contain dogs, prevent attacks

Ranger services have come down hard on dog attacks in the City of Karratha, resulting in the enforcement of infringement notices right through to court action.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the City takes dog attacks seriously and warned of the repercussions resulting from dog attacks.

“Our Rangers have just followed through on a court case that saw the owner of a dog fined $4,000 for the dog not being on a lead while out, being unregistered, and for killing another dog,” Cr Long said.

On top of the hefty fine, the owner’s dog was also surrendered for destruction and euthanized.

“It’s an incredibly sad situation, because the deaths of both of these dogs could have been avoided through responsible pet ownership,” he said.

“Thankfully, the $4,000 penalty issued by the Magistrate in this instance shows that the courts also take these attacks seriously and might open the eyes of some irresponsible pet owners,” he added.

Substantial penalties of up to $20,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment can be issued as a result of a dog attack and the dog's owner or the person who has control of the dog at the time is liable for any medical costs or property damage incurred as a result of the incident.

“The majority of pet owners are responsible people who register their dogs, and contain them within their own property, which is really great to see,” Cr Long said.

“If your dog is successfully contained it can’t get you in trouble,” he said.

“When a dog knows it can get out of a yard, it will do so regularly until the yard is fixed, so owners really need to act immediately if there is an issue with dog proofing their yard.”

Residents are reminded to report dog attacks as soon as they occur so offending dogs and owners can be held accountable immediately.

Dog attacks include instances where a dog aggressively rushes at or attempts to attack a person or animal without injury or damage, as well as tearing clothing, biting, or causing physical injury. Rangers need to be able to identify the dog at fault, with a description of the type of dog breed if known, colour, size, sex, any other identifying features (ie collar colour, distinguishing spots). A description of where the dog is kept, or where it came from is also required, so that Rangers are able to speak with the dog owner.

If you or a pet have been attacked by a dog, please contact the City of Karratha’s Ranger Services on 9186 8555 to report the incident.