Court's bite as bad as its bark as dog owners fined for pet's attack

FINED: Matt Taylor and Bianca Wood of Edward Street were fined $500 each for court costs and $550 each for being the owners of a dog that attacked another dog, in Orange Local Court on Thursday.

FINED: Matt Taylor and Bianca Wood of Edward Street were fined $500 each for court costs and $550 each for being the owners of a dog that attacked another dog, in Orange Local Court on Thursday.

AN Orange couple were ordered to pay more than $2000 in fines over a dog attack and another resident walked away from Orange Local Court on Thursday with a $100 fine for allowing his dogs to bark consistently. 

Matt Taylor and Bianca Wood of Edward Street did not show up to court for the second time and were fined in their absence, $500 each for court costs and $550 each for being the owners of a dog that attacked another dog. 

The pair’s two dogs were sitting on top of a ute in their driveway, not restrained, when a small dog and its owner walked past. 

The bigger dogs attacked the smaller dog and caused extensive injuries, which had to be treated by a veterinarian at a cost of about $700. 

The couple had not paid compensation to the victim and Orange City Council’s solicitor Stuart Ogilvy did not ask the magistrate to grant it. 

But William O’Neil of Pimpala Place hired solicitor Paul Longhurst to argue his case after he pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a nuisance order, twice.

Mr Longhurst said his client had done everything in his power to stop the greyhounds from barking and had even muzzled them at night.

However, greyhound racing rules prohibit the use of muzzles at night, Mr Longhurst said. 

“He has lived in the area since 1985 ... new people moved in and complained about the dogs,” he said. 

Since the complaints, which had been numerous since 2013, O’Neil had approached the neighbour and they had struck up a “cordial” relationship. 

Mr Longhurst said his client would consider using citronella collars on the dogs.

Mr Ogilvy argued against a good behaviour bond without a conviction for O’Neil, because the issue had been ongoing and court was a last resort.

The magistrate, Bruce Williams fined O’Neil $100, which was $175 less than the initial fine council had imposed on him.

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