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City of Greater Geraldton rangers fine owner of dogs that killed smaller dog and mauled man in Mount Tarcoola

Headshot of Kate Campbell
Kate CampbellGeraldton Guardian
Glenview Street, Mount Tarcoola.
Camera IconGlenview Street, Mount Tarcoola. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardian

The owner of two dogs who killed a smaller dog and viciously mauled a man in Mount Tarcoola last month have been fined more than $2000, but avoided any charges.

The attack on Glenview Street on March 4 saw two dogs set upon Reg Thomson and Dom, a 14-month-old papastzu.

Mr Thomson was about to take Dom, who belonged to his neighbour, for a walk and had barely left the driveway when two dogs of mixed breeds came bounding from across the road.

“I just instinctively picked him (Dom) up and held him close to my chest, but the dogs just started ripping into him and me, there was nothing I could do to stop them. They just tore into him and into my arm and leg,” said Mr Thomson, who needed surgery for lacerations on his hand, arms and legs

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City of Greater Geraldton rangers investigated the dog attack. One of the dogs died in a traffic accident soon after the attack, while the owners surrendered the other dog to rangers. That dog was euthanised.

“The investigation is now complete and as a result, a number of infringements and cautions have been issued,” City CEO Ross McKim said.

“It is a timely reminder to all dog owners of their responsibilities to ensure the safety of the community. Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dogs are registered, are in a properly secured yard and not left to wander — in order to protect the safety of people, but other animals alike.”

The infringements were issued for multiple reasons, including for a dog attack causing injury, a dog not held or tethered in a public place, unregistered dogs and failing to ensure a dog is microchipped.

“The infringements were in excess of $2000 and given the cautions and infringements that were issued, as well as both dogs being deceased, charges did not need to be laid,” Mr McKim said.

Dom’s owner Laurina Sargeant last month called on dog owners to be responsible for their canines.

“Don’t have a dog if you cannot care for it and or train it,” she said.

“A dog becomes a part of the family. Innocent people and dogs have been hurt and traumatised doing normal daily activities such as walking their dog.

“No one should walk five metres from their driveway and be attacked due to the negligence of others.”

Last year, 186 dog attacks were reported to the City of Greater Geraldton — a rate of more than three a week.

Under the Dog Act, owners can be fined up to $20,000 or jailed for a maximum of two years if the offence relates to a designated dangerous breed.

For offences involving other dogs, the maximum penalty is $10,000 or 12 months jail.

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