Dog attacks on the rise, owners beware

Published: 31 October 2022

Eurobodalla Council has reported an increase in serious dog attacks, resulting in hospitalisations and visits to the vet.

Acting senior ranger Mitchell Stirling said the number of dog attacks on farm animals and other dogs tend to spike in spring and summer.

“The seriousness of attacks has increased, with some hospitalisations of people and animals having to go to the vet,” he said.

“The number of dog attacks this year has represented the same as previous years. As we move into the warmer months the numbers tend to rise.

“Last month, we had almost one attack per day and we are trending in that direction this month too.”

Following investigations into dog attack incidents, Mr Stirling said the main causes were owners’ lack of understanding of their dog’s social skills and dogs being off lead in public.

“We are seeing a lot of dogs not interacting well with others and majority of attacks occurring when they’re unrestrained,” Mr Stirling said.

Mr Stirling urged owners to be more aware of their dog’s behaviour.

“To be a responsible dog owner and to understand your dog’s experience interacting with other dogs and people, and their behavioural ques is key to reducing the number of dog attacks in our community,” Mr Stirling said.

“Please train your dog, know your dog, and exercise caution with your dog in unfamiliar places – if it’s their first visit to an area, keep them on a lead a few times first.”

Mr Stirling reminded owners to always keep dogs on a lead, unless signposted otherwise.

“The rangers are patrolling, and you can be issued with an on-the-spot fine,” he said.

“Remember that not all dogs are the same, and not all owners train and socialise their dogs.”

Owners can also receive an on-the-spot fine of $1320 if their dog displays aggression, harasses or chases animals or people.

“A dog does not have to physically bite for it to be considered an attack,” Mr Stirling said.

Resources on dog ownership responsibilities are available on Council’s website, or by giving rangers a call.

“We prefer sharing information with pet owners rather than imposing fines, please get in touch with the team if you have any questions,” Mr Stirling said.

For more information, visit the pets page or contact rangers on 4474 1019.

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