DOG attacks are on the rise as the weather heats up, according to Cabonne Council Environmental Services director Heather Nicholls.
She said there had been an increase in reports in the last two weeks, but fortunately no one had been injured.
It is not a case of more stray dogs on the loose, rather, there are more people out and about, she said.
Ms Nicholls said pet owners who did not keep their animals under control faced fines of up to $550.
“Anyone who owns a pet should be aware of their responsibilities, from keeping their animals under control to having their pets registered and microchipped,” she said.
From January to March, 2013, there were only two reported dog attacks in Cabonne, but Ms Nicholls said the low number was probably due to rural property owners dealing with the problems themselves.
“This is a message targeted at villages,” she said.
“Farmers tend to know their rights and their responsibilities that they can impound or destroy a dog on their property.”
The Companion Animals Act requires all dog and cat owners to have their pets registered and permanently identified through microchipping.
Ms Nicholls said pet owners faced fines of $165 in each case for not registering and microchipping their pets.
Not only must dogs be kept on a leash, they are prohibited in many places, including children’s play areas, recreation areas, public bathing areas, school grounds, childcare centres and shopping areas.
Cabonne Council is hoping to employ a full-time ranger to deal with the spike in reports of attacks.
Currently it only has one part-time officer.
Anyone seeking further information about their responsibilities as pet owners, or pamphlets outlining the requirements of the Companion Animals Act and relevant penalties, should contact Cabonne Council’s Environmental Services section on 6392 3247.