All dog owners hope their dog/s won’t show aggression towards people or other animals, but it can and does happen for many reasons.
All residents and visitors to the Whitsunday Region have the right to feel safe in the community and it is the responsibility of pet owners to ensure the protection of others and to keep public areas safe for people to enjoy.
Any attack on a person and/or animal should be reported to us on 1300 972 753. This number can be called 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Dog attack victims must seek medical treatment as required.
Attacks by dogs on humans, other companion animals and livestock are largely preventable.
The majority of dog attacks reported occur in public places. Attacks by dogs in public tend to occur outside the dog’s own home on the footpath or road and are mainly the result of the dog not being properly confined to its property or under effective control.
Many unreported dog attacks occur in the home and involve family members being bitten by their own dog. If you or someone else, or your dog and/or another animal has been bitten by a dog, you should report the attack to us as soon as possible. It is important to remember as many details as possible about the attack and the dog/s description, so we have more information for the investigation.
- Ensure your dog is unable to escape over, under or through the fence or enclosure where it is kept.
- Ensure your dog is always under effective control in a public place, on a leash and held by a person who is physically able to control the dog.
- Keep your dog on a leash of no longer than 2 metres when you are in public areas, unless you are in a designated off-leash area.
- Train your dog to return to you when called in an off-leash area.
- Attend dog obedience or dog behaviour classes.
- Constantly monitor 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 or if recovering from an illness or injury.
Dog attacks are investigated under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.
When a dog attack complaint is received by Council, an Officer will speak with the victim regarding the incident. The Officer will need to gather as much evidence about the attack including a detailed description of the dog/s that attacked, date, time, location of the attack and owner detail where possible.
If it is determined that an attack has taken place, an Officer will conduct an investigation that may also require victim statements, medical reports, photographs and other evidence gathering.
The alleged dog owner will be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations involving their dog/s.
After all the evidence has been gathered, a decision will be made on whether the matter is resolved by issuing infringement notices, compliance paperwork, Regulated Dog declaration and Court proceedings.
The victim has the right to investigate civil action against the dog owner at any stage.