Council urges for responsible pet ownership

Date published: 8 April 2022

Townsville City Council is urging residents to be responsible pet owners, following the release of dog attack statistics for the first quarter of 2022.

Last month there were 34 dog attacks reported across the city, compared to 43 in March 2021. During February there were 49 reported dog attacks, up from 45 in February last year.

Community Safety, Health and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said every pet owner had the opportunity to reduce the risk their dogs posed.

“The dog attack figures we’re seeing is alarming, because each instance is a time that a person or another animal was hurt and made to feel unsafe by a dog in our community,” Cr Soars said.

“It is every dog owner’s responsibility to make sure their pet is in an adequate enclosure and is walked on a leash to prevent risk to the community. This is the bare minimum that every dog owner needs to meet.

“Every day we have parents taking their children for walks, responsible pet owners taking their animals outside as well as postal and electricity workers on the streets of our suburbs. These people deserve to feel safe while doing their jobs or going for a stroll down the street.”

Cr Soars said pet owners would be penalised for not keeping their dogs under control.

“If your dog is not under effective control, you may be penalised through Council issuing penalty infringements to the owner, impounding the dog, regulating the dog or further prosecution,” he said.

“These are serious measures which can be avoided by dog owners practicing responsible pet ownership. This not only saves time and hassle, but it could also save lives.”

An adequate enclosure needs to prevent the animal from escaping the yard or wandering at large and 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
  • designed so no part of the animal can place any part of their body through.

Report attacks and aggressive animals at any time of day to Council immediately by phoning 13 48 10.

For more information about responsible pet ownership, visit Be a Responsible Pet Owner.

Dog attack stats

January 2021 – 40
January 2022 – 43

February 2021 – 45
February 2022 – 49

March 2021 – 43
March 2022 – 34