VICTIMS of dog attacks are encouraged to report them to the City of Mandurah and not just on social media.
There has been an increase in people reporting dog attacks via the Facebook page Mandurah Q and A, which has 11,848 members.
A City of Mandurah spokesperson said based on their statistics, they had not noted an increase in dog attacks, “but all these attacks are extremely concerning”.
“The City of Mandurah’s rangers applies the legislation and conducts regular patrols of beaches, parks and local streets to ensure that dog owners are leashing their dogs in public and effectively controlling them in dog exercise areas,” the spokesperson said.
“The circumstances around the attacks vary but the City needs the community’s help to prevent dog attacks.
“The City will respond to calls from the community and encourages the community to be proactive to prevent attacks.”
Reported dog attacks for the first quarter of the 2013 financial year sat at 39, before it almost doubled in 2014 to 63 reported attacks. For the first quarter of 2015 they settled back down to 56 reported attacks.
The spokesperson said owners of dogs should make sure their property was secured to prevent dogs from escaping, straying and wandering.
They should provide behavioural training if required and make sure the dog is controlled at all times in on- and off-the-lead areas
Strategies to reduce attacks
The City of Mandurah encourages owners to register and microchip their dogs.
Residents should report dogs that are wandering or off leads in areas that are not designated as dog exercise areas.
People should stay away from unfamiliar dogs.
Cats should be contained on properties so they are not at risk of injury on other properties.
Consequences of attacks
In extreme cases, dog attacks can lead to the dog being declared dangerous or to be put down.
The dog’s owner could face fines of $10,000 or 12 months imprisonment.
The victim can be entitled to compensation in the form of vet or medical bills from the offending dog’s owner or the court may require this as part of the prosecution.
The spokesperson said that victims of dog attacks should report them to the City on 9550 3777.
“By reporting all circumstances of dog attacks, action can be taken by rangers to investigate, even when no injury has occurred,” the spokesperson said.
“This gives rangers and officers the opportunity to educate dog owners and minimise future risk to the community.”
First quarter statistics on dog attacks in Mandurah for the last three financial years:
July 1, 2013 to September 30, 2013 – 39
July 1, 2014 to September 30, 2014 – 63
July 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015 – 56