IRRESPONSIBLE dog owners have been put on notice as Orange councillor Neil Jones calls for action on the city’s dog attack rates.
Between April and June last year there were 16 dog attacks in Orange, according to NSW Division of Local Government statistics.
Any incident when a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal, other than vermin, whether or not any injury is caused, is considered an attack.
The Companion Animal Committee chair, Cr Jones said council needed to consider a blitz on Orange dog owners to reiterate the consequences of not keeping their dogs secure.
“It’s about education, always it comes down to education,” he said.
He did not suggest council needed to employ more rangers, but said council’s three existing rangers could be more proactive in handing out information on ensuring dogs are kept secure in yards and trained properly, and owners are vigilant.
Bathurst Regional Council had three dog attacks in the same time period, but none involved people.
Cr Jones believed the figures were skewed because of the way local government areas reported attacks.
“Our rangers are more proactive with this issue and it could be that other centres have as many issues,” he said.
The fine for having a dog that attacks a person could be as high as $11,000 for the first offence.
The fine for having a restricted dog or a dangerous dog that attacks a person could be as high as $44,000.
“We need to get it out there in the media, put it on council’s website, go to the paper, the radio, people need to be made aware,” Cr Jones said.