City of Swan denies Ballajura resident’s vet bill claim after dog attack

A BALLAJURA resident has lost her bid for the City of Swan to pay a $200 veterinary bill following a dog attack last month.

Elyse Stonehill’s cocker spaniel cross, Toby, suffered a neck injury and trauma after he was attacked by a neighbour’s german shepherd at Bluejay Gardens.

The City of Swan issued a $400 infringement notice to the german shepherd’s owner.

Ms Stonehill (71) said she wanted the City to reimburse her for the vet bill but the City refused.

“I think the money received from the fine should pay the vet bills because people are getting away with it,” she said.

Ms Stonehill said she wanted to see changes to the City of Swan’s way of dealing with dog attacks.

Chief executive Mike Foley said while the City was sympathetic to the owner, it was inappropriate to reimburse veterinary bills.

“In cases where the City of Swan has decided to apply an infringement notice, there is no option available to council to compensate the victim with the financial penalty,” he said.

“In circumstances where an infringement has been issued, any application for compensation to cover vet costs resulting from a dog attack must be made through a civil court.

“The City of Swan agrees that this is a valid pathway for potential compensation subject to the victim supplying proof of payment.”

A Department of Local Government spokesman said the current legislation provided appropriate avenues for local governments to respond to dog attacks.

“Local governments are responsible for administering and enforcing the Dog Act in their district,” the spokesman said.

“It is at the discretion of the local government as to what action may be taken.”