More than four dog attacks on average reported to City of Greater Geraldton rangers this year
More than four dog attacks a week have been reported to the City of Greater Geraldton so far this year, with rangers dealing with a recent spike in canine ambushes against people and other dogs.
Rangers have reported a rise in dog attacks against people and other dogs, with pet owners warned they could face hefty fines if they did not keep their animals under control.
City figures show 203 dog attacks have been reported to date this year, with more than 1600 reports of barking, roaming and other complaints also received.
There were 107 attacks on people and 96 on other dogs.
Numbers peaked in March when 26 attacks were reported, with 13 of those attacks against people. The prevalence of attacks appeared to be on the decline from July, with just 13 attacks reported in October.
But reports spiked again last month when 21 attacks were reported to rangers, of which 13 were against people.
City of Greater Geraldton chief executive Ross McKim said the onus was on dog owners to ensure their pet did not put the safety of others at risk.
“Dog owners must have full control of their dog when exercising in a public place and when at home, your dog must be secured,” he said.
“Where proven, dog attacks can attract heavy fines or even jail time in some instances.”
Under the Dog Act, pet owners can be fined up to $20,000 or jailed for a maximum of two years if the offence relates to a dog designated a dangerous breed.
For other dogs, the court can fine owners up to $10,000 or issue a sentence of imprisonment of up to 12 months.
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