Asset Publisher Asset Publisher

Return to Full Page
« Back

Zero tolerance

2 October, 2018

Council will introduce a zero tolerance policy for off-leash dogs.

“This move is born out of community frustration following continued attacks and incidents, especially on our beaches,” Council CEO Ken Diehm said.

“The community is passing their concerns through the Mayor and Councillors and after discussions with the Mayor this morning I have decided to introduce a zero tolerance policy.

“It is an appropriate response, especially as people are not controlling their pets. 

“It is not good enough that the leash is attached to the dog but it is dragging along the ground. The leash has to be in the owners hand so they can control their pet.

“In the past Council has concentrated on raising awareness through community education programs and issuing warnings.

“While there is nothing to indicate that there has been an increase in dog attacks and incidents across the region, our past actions are not working and too many pet owners are ignoring their responsibilities. 

“Pets must be under their owner’s effective control at all times, regardless of whether they are in a leash or off leash area.

“No one knows how their pet is going to react when they meet another dog. They may never have shown aggressive behaviours before, but given the right circumstances they can become aggressive, especially if they feel threatened.”

Mr Diehm said Animal Management staff would immediately step up patrols of all public spaces including beaches.

Council will review the animal management Local Laws, regulations and fines.

“The review will include existing dog leashed and off-leash areas, prohibited dog off-leash as well as fines in line with the growing community concern that pets are properly restrained for the safety of other pets and the public.

“In the end it comes down to pet owners. They are responsible for obeying the regulations, training and controlling their pets.”

Council is continuing to investigate the incident in which Doris James pet toy poodle Freddy was fatally mauled and is asking anyone who may have witnessed the attack to call 1300 79 49 29.

“Council will exercise the full extent of the laws available,” Mr Diehm said.

“We take the safety of public and pets very seriously.

“People have to remember that if their pet is involved in an attack or incident it could be declared as dangerous.

“The owner then must have the animal desexed; ensure it is contained in an appropriate enclosure; put up warning signs on the fence and muzzled the dog when it taken outside of the enclosure.

“They also have to pay a $614 annual registration fee.”

Council can issue a number of fines to owners if their pets are picked up wandering.

The fines include $261 for a wandering dog; $261 for inadequate enclosure; up to $252 impoundment fee as well as $261 for having an un-registered dog. 

A list of off leash walking areas is available on the Council website