Council barking mad at number of dog incidents

Date published: 24 August 2020

Townsville City Council is reminding dog owners of their responsibilities after an alarming number of animal attacks and aggressive animal complaints in 2020.

So far this year, there has been 336 animal attacks and 460 aggressive animal complaints.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability chairperson Margie Ryder said it is vital that residents keep their pets enclosed and under control.

“It’s really worrying to see the number of attacks and aggressive animal complaints and we are urging residents to make sure that their animals are properly enclosed or under control at all times,” Cr Ryder said.

“Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of the animal attacks result in minor injuries. However, it takes just a second for something to go wrong and for an attack to become life-threatening or cause severe injuries and residents should be taking steps to make sure that their dog isn’t the culprit in any incidents.

“This means making sure that the yard is adequate to keep the dog enclosed and ensuring that your dog is always on a leash when in public areas.”

Cr Ryder said there are penalties for owners that don’t meet these requirements.

“There are measures that Council officers can take if we have dogs that are repeatedly out or not under proper control,” Cr Ryder said.

“This includes issuing penalty infringements or impounding the animal until a resolution can be reached.

“To avoid these measures becoming necessary we ask that residents practice responsible pet ownership and make sure their dog doesn’t have the opportunity to cause harm.”

Adequate enclosures should be:

  • High enough that the animal cannot jump over;
  • Secure enough that the animal cannot dig under;
  • Strong/Permanent enough that the animal cannot push it over;
  • Hole proof so that the animal cannot escape through; and
  • Designed so the animal cannot place any part of their body through.
  • If necessary to prevent unauthorised release of your animal, fitting keyed locks or self-closing/latching devices on gates or to the points of entry to the property.

Attacks and aggressive animals should be immediately reported to Council by phoning 13 48 10.

This number should also be used for after-hours attacks.