Dog Attacks

Every year, there are hundreds of dog attacks reported to Townsville City Council. It is important that owners take precautions to avoid their dog attacking a person or animal. Owners are responsible for their pet's actions.

Council takes all dog attacks seriously.  Dog attacks should be immediately reported to Council by phoning 13 48 10. This number should also be used for after-hours attacks.

If a complainant chooses not to provide evidence of the attack, Council will still investigate the incident and determine whether action will be taken against the owner.

Dog attacks are legislated under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.

How does Council respond to a dog attack?

  1. A Council Officer will contact the complainant to confirm the details of the attack and discuss the complaint process.
  2. The Officer will then visit the premises where the dog is being kept to inspect the dog’s enclosure and ensure the offending dog is secured.
  3. The Officer will speak to the dog’s owner if they are present, and ensure the offending dog is secured. If the dog cannot be secured and poses an immediate threat to public safety, the Officer may seize and impound the dog until the owners can be contacted.
  4. Once the dog is secured, the Officer will then contact the complainant to commence the investigation process.
  5. The complainant can choose to provide evidence including:
    • a statement of the incident
    • a comprehensive list of any witnesses (name/contact number/address)
    • any photos taken of injuries
    • any medical/veterinary reports and receipts.
  6. A Council Officer will contact the alleged offending dog owner to offer them the opportunity to provide a formal statement.
  7. The Council Officer will compile an investigation report with recommendations.

For more information read the following FAQs:

If Council prosecutes a dog owner, the complainant may be required to give evidence during court proceedings.

Investigation outcomes

If your dog attacks or injures another person or animal, possible consequences are:

  • prosecution for the attack
  • declaration of the dog as menacing or dangerous
  • fines
  • depending on the circumstances, seizure and destruction of the dog
  • significantly higher dog registration costs each year
  • strict enforcement for confining your dog, including inspections by Compliance Officers.

Who are your pets hurting?