Spearwood dog attacks greyhound

The City of Cockburn's response to the Fremantle Herald 31 March, about the fatal dog attack on a greyhound in Spearwood -

Question: Why did the City of Cockburn Council not deem the offending dog a 'dangerous dog' after the first attack, were there any legal obstacles preventing the council from taking action?
Irrespective of the outcome of a dog attack, all incidents are taken seriously by the City and are responded to and investigated with priority and with the oversight of the City’s Ranger Service management.
The City is bound by the Dog Act 1976, and although the legislation is clear about when a Local Government may declare a dog dangerous, the City has to ensure that these decisions are fair and reasonable on the evidence presented at the time.
Dangerous dog declarations are subject to being appealed to the State Administrative Tribunal, where the declaration may be overturned.
Question: Will the owner of the offending dog be prosecuted? What penalties will she face?
The City is prosecuting the owner for the attack. As a consequence, the City cannot comment any further.
As a general guide, penalties can range up to $10,000 if convicted, and the Courts may impose a Destruction Order and award legal costs.
The City cannot order the destruction of a dog in matters such as this without an order from a Court.
Question: What measures will the Council be taking to prevent similar instances from occurring in the future?
The City has undertaken inspections of the owner’s property and confirmed it meets the enhanced dog confinement requirements. If there are any breaches, the City will seize the dog and hold it until prosecution.
The City regularly holds free six-week dog training courses for owners and their dogs, including basic, intermediate and aggressive/reactive dog training. This training is designed to help provide dog owners with responsible pet ownership skills.
The City provides a range of on and off leash areas and enclosed dog parks including those with agility equipment for owners to spend time building a bond with their dog, and enabling their dog to socialise with others while under supervision.
In 2019, the City held nine courses, where over 90 dog owners took advantage of the City’s initiative. The 2020 courses were impacted by COVID-19, but the 2021 courses are being planned and will be promoted in coming months.

For more information contact

Media and Communications Officer
City of Cockburn

Email [email protected]

Phone 08 9411 3551

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.