‘Don’t take my dog away’

The local resident, who asked to remain anonymous, recently received a newsletter from the Department of Housing informing her that her dog was on the restricted list due to its breed.

The letter informed residents certain breeds, including japanese tosas and pit bull terriers, were not permitted to be kept in Department of Housing properties.

She said her dog was not aggressive and it was an extreme move by the State Government to force people to get rid of their dogs.

�There are so many people across Department of Housing properties that have cross breeds of these dogs and they�re going to lose their dogs,� she said. �The refuges are already overcrowded.

�It�s worrying me terribly because I love him; he would never hurt anyone.

�I just want them to be reasonable and know how much my dog means to me. I think they�re going the wrong way about this, it�s going to hurt a lot of people.�

Department of Housing service delivery manager Greg Cash said the department expected tenants to comply with the terms and conditions of their tenancy agreement.

�The Department of Housing�s policy is that tenants must not keep a dog which is listed as a �restricted breed� under the Dog Act 1976; this is stipulated under the Department�s standard tenancy agreement,� he said.

But the local tenant said the Department of Housing needed to reconsider its blanket approach to banning all restricted breeds and assess dogs on their merits.

�He�s very good with people, he�s so loving and gentle, and I�ve had him since he was eight weeks old,� she said.

�It�s breaking my heart to think about losing my dog.�

The RSPCA does not support breed specific legislation.

�RPCA Australia considers that any dog of any size, breed or mix of breeds may be dangerous and thus dogs should not be declared dangerous on the basis of breed or appearance,� their website states.

�Each individual dog should be assessed based on their behaviour.�

Despite the Dog Act being in place, the owner was able to register it four years ago.