Wellington Shire Council is urging pet owners to secure their animals after experiencing a 43% increase in dog attacks during the past year.
The attacks calculated include serious, non-serious and dog rush incidents. While the majority of the attacks were against other dogs or livestock, Council received 17 reports of incidents where dogs have attacked people.
In the past two months, Council has prosecuted seven serious dog attack matters in the Sale Magistrate’s Court, resulting in penalties ranging from a 12 month Good Behaviour Bond to a $1,377 fine.
Children under the age of five are particularly vulnerable to dog attacks, especially at home.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Alan Hall said man’s best friend must be adequately restrained when out walking and contained when unsupervised.
“Research from Agriculture Victoria shows that 80% of dog attack and menace incidents occur in public places as a result of animals not being adequately confined,” he said.
“These incidents therefore often take place on the footpath or road bordering the property.
“Recent dog attack incidents in Wellington certainly back up this research.
“Council officers investigate all dog attack reports and where appropriate, take action through the Magistrate’s Court.”
What to do if you are approached by an aggressive dog:
How to approach dogs safely: