All dog owners hope their pet won't show aggression towards other animals or people, but it can happen for many reasons. Often it is a sign of irresponsible ownership and is against the law. Pet owners are always responsible and legally liable for the actions of their animals.
- Always supervise children around dogs. Dog play can become rough and may sometimes result in a bite. Constantly monitor your 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 (especially chewing a bone) or if recovering from an illness or injury.
- Always check to see that your fencing or dog enclosure is secure. Keeping your dog confined will greatly lessen the risk to others in the community.
- Always use a leash when walking your dog in public and always make sure that you are watching your pet to monitor and control the situation.
Impact on victims and penalties
Being bitten or attacked by a dog can produce serious physical, psychological and emotional effects, not only for the person who is attacked but also for the owner of the attacking dog. Even if the victim is not bitten, the threat of the attack can cause lasting trauma.
If your dog attacks a person or animal, you could be fined, your dog may be declared dangerous or you may face legal action.
Declared dangerous dogs
Once a dog has attacked, the Shire may list the animal as a "Dangerous Dog" and the owner will have to comply with special conditions listed in local laws. When a dog is classified as dangerous the owner must:
- Ensure the dog is registered with the Shire as a dangerous dog
- Ensure the dog is always muzzled and on a leash in a public place
- Ensure the dog does not attack or worry another person or animal
- Display a sign advertising of a dangerous dog on the premises
- Provide and maintain a proper and effective enclosure to prevent the dog from escaping.