Warning to Dog Owners

Gunnedah Shire Council

On Saturday 27 January 2024, three women were walking two male dogs (on leads) along Beulah Street, Gunnedah when three dogs escaped the yard of a nearby home.

One of the escapees attacked one of the dogs on a lead and inflicted minor injuries to it. Two of the women received minor injuries from falls whilst trying to fend off the attacking dog.

This dog attack was reported to Gunnedah Shire Council on Monday 29 January and Compliance Officers commenced an investigation. On the morning of Wednesday 31 January, a further report was received about a dog escaping from the same yard and attacking a dog that was being walked on a lead along Beulah Street.

Council’s Compliance Officers later that day seized a three-year-old Sharpei x Cattle Dog from a Gunnedah home. The owner of the attacking dog was issued with a fine of $1320 and the owner has elected to have the dog humanely euthanised by a veterinarian. Had the dog owner not chosen this option, Council may have issued a Notice of Declaration of a Dangerous Dog which carries very onerous conditions including a fully enclosed yard built to prescribed conditions, muzzling, annual inspections, and property signage.

The owner of two dogs that escaped the yard at the same time as each attack (but were not involved) was issued with fines totalling $440 and is subject to an Order from Council to erect fencing that prevents the dogs escaping the property.

In response to the incident, Council’s Manager of Community Safety Wade Berryman said;

“It is imperative that all dog owners take responsibility for ensuring that their pets cannot escape their yard by jumping, climbing, or digging out.”

“Any dog is capable of attacking, biting, or harassing other animals and people that are going about their business in public places. Similarly, dog owners should not deliberately release their dogs from their yard at any time of the day or night to roam uncontrolled and unsupervised defecating, knocking over bins, and generally disturbing the neighbourhood. Dogs that are not under control in public places, will be seized and as well as any Council fees and charges applicable, fines may be issued,” he said.

/Public Release. View in full here.