NOT knowing what happened off-camera prevented the City of Wanneroo from taking further action against a dog owner in relation to an alleged attack of a cat in Carramar.
The City issued a statement last week calling for calm after it reviewed its investigations into the alleged dog attack on the cat in Carramar on June 8.
It said there was “insufficient evidence to conclusively prove the cat’s injuries were caused by the dog at the centre of the investigation”.
“The City therefore maintains that, in the absence of any further evidence, the $200 fine imposed on the owners of the American staffordshire cross for a ‘dog attack causing no physical injury’ is the most appropriate penalty,” it said.
Concerned about social media commentary on the “emotive issue”, the statement called for people to “be mindful of all parties involved”.
Community and place director Fiona Hodges said that under the Dog Act, if a dog attacks or chases any person or animal without causing physical injury to them, every person liable for the control of the dog commits an offence.
“Also under the Act, ‘attack’ includes aggressively rushing at or harassing any person or animal,” she said.
“The infringement imposed by the City specifically relates to the dog in question chasing, or rushing at, the cat, as clearly seen in the CCTV footage.
“The cat can then be seen running away. What happened off-camera is unknown.
“Under those circumstances, the infringement imposed by the City was the appropriate course of action.”
As reported last week, Angela Marshall, who owns George the cat, started a petition for the City to review its investigation – it has attracted about 620 supporters.
The dog owners, who asked not to be named due to the backlash they have received, said the issue had escalated.
They said they were walking up Myamba Court to collect a friend’s dog when they saw the cat and went up to it.
“The cat scratched my dog on the nose and eye and made it bleed,” the man said.
“The cat then ran off fast and jumped over a 2m fence, so we didn’t think any more of the incident.
“My dog socialises with cats and dogs in our local area and in the four-and-a-half years we have had him, he has never shown any aggression.
“Me and my wife are animal lovers and we would never encourage our dog to attack any living creature.”
They said there was a seven-hour time lapse before the cat owner came home when “anything could have happened”.
“We have talked to the rangers and feel there should be cat laws not allowing them to stray away from their properties,” they said.
“As responsible dog owners we have done nothing wrong as our dog was on a lead.”