Dog owners headed to court

Published 12:00pm 3 November 2022

Dog owners headed to court
Words by Jodie Powell

Nine dog owners in the Moreton Bay Region will face court in coming months, with their pets accused of injuring other animals so badly they had to be euthanised and mauling a person.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Community and Environmental Services Director Bill Halpin said officers took public safety seriously and had not taken the decision to prosecute lightly.

“We take the matters very seriously, obviously the risk to other people’s animals and our community safety, which is why we’re also prosecuting around the matter of wandering animals,” he said.

|“If that animal’s out and wandering and then decides to take out a child or member of the community, that’s just simply not acceptable.”|

Six of the cases involve wandering animals, with the charges including failing to maintain a proper enclosure to prevent animal wandering or escaping, while the remainder involve dogs causing injuries.

“These are very serious matters that have resulted in injury to a person or animal and we are taking these matters forward,” Mr Halpin said.

Serious charges

The first case involves two dogs that are alleged to have attacked a guest at a property.

“They (the person) went into the property and at the end of the day the person had a section of their lower leg torn out when two animals on the property attacked the person.”

The remaining charges Council will bring to court relate to attacks on animals.

|“A wandering animal entered a property and attacked a cat,” Mr Halpin said.|

“It did significant damage to the cat and the cat had to be destroyed as a result.

Another charge relates to a dog that escaped from its property and attacked a dog being walked by its owner.

“The animal was disembowelled and had to be euthanised,” Mr Halpin said.

“Another issue we have is a dog jumping a fence into the neighbour’s yard, puncturing a lung, causing significant damage to the animal and again, it had to be euthanised.

Stiff fines

Mr Halpin said officers thoroughly investigated each case before deciding to proceed with court action, gathering evidence such as medical reports and considering mitigating circumstances.

|“There are review procedures in place – we are not unreasonable,” he said.|

“Penalties are in the vicinity of $15,000 (but) if there was a particular difficulty the magistrate could lift that up to $45,000.”

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