– The Daily Dog has long called for large fines to be imposed on irresponsible dog owners in this nation who allow their dogs to attack either people or other dogs. Therefore we are glad to report that the Sunshine Coast Council in Queensland is of a similar mind, announcing a new, zero-tolerance approach to such attacks.
In many of our previous Posts we have highlighted how many existing fines on owners of dogs who misbehave are insignificant and thus do not act as a real deterrent, The Sunshine Coast Council seems to be one of the very few Councils in this Country to have woken up to this fact, announcing a range of new fines of up to $34,000 for owners of dogs who attack people or other animals.
The new fines are in addition to having the dog/s in question seized and euthanased – a course of action which has long been an option for Local Councils.
As a spokeswoman for the Sunshine Coast Council, Coralie Nichols stated:
“It is time dog owners realise they need to take personal responsibility for their dogs.
Council is drawing a line in the sand and advising that we will not tolerate dogs not under effective control in the community.
We now have zero tolerance for aggressive and dangerous dogs and will ensure that owners of these animals will be held responsible for their dogs’ unacceptable behaviour.
We are warning owners of dogs that attack – we will enforce to the full extent of the law which could include fines of over $30,000 and euthanasia of your dog.’’
To which the pups4sale team says “Hear, hear!” – with one caveat. That caveat is rescue organisations should be given the option of observing and behaviour testing dogs seized in such actions by Council in order to assess whether the dog/s involved have a chance of being rehabilitated and suitably re-homed. As many dog owners will know, just as dogs can be trained or mistreated into being savage killers, so they can often be retrained as suitable for the right household. We realise this is sadly not always achievable, but at the very least trained animal rehabilitation specialists should be given the option to try.
Clearly, after 28 reported dog on dog attacks and 9 reported dog on human attacks in the Sunshine Coast region in the past month alone, the Council believes it has been left with little option but to act in such an aggressive manner. The decision by Council to take this new approach has been reinforced by investigations into such attacks, which have revealed that most of the dogs involved in the attacks were not registered, de-sexed or had suitable fencing to confine them. If you’re not surprised at these findings, then neither are the pups4sale team.
It will be interesting from a purely academic viewpoint to see whether the new action by Council will result in a significant reduction in attacks by dogs in the Sunshine Coast area. We suspect it will have a dramatic effect in fact, and if so hopefully Councils Australia-wide will adopt a similar hardline approach. Time will tell of course, but the Daily Dog is heartened by the fact at least one Council is doing something about the problem.
Your thoughts as always are welcome below.