Dog attack in Success

The City of Cockburn's responses to Nine News, ABC News Perth, The West Australian, Ten News, Seven News, NewsCorp and The Sunday Times about a dog attack in Success, 17-4 October 2023 

City of Cockburn Rangers received a call from WA Police to attend an incident at a home in Success, late on Saturday afternoon 16 September, 2023. When Rangers arrived, a dog believed to have been involved in attacking one of its owners at the house, had sustained serious injuries.
Rangers were able to safely transport the dog to a nearby veterinary hospital.
Rangers were then able to transport a second dog residing at the property to the City’s Animal Management Facility. The dog will remain at the facility until investigations surrounding the incident are finalised.

One of the dogs believed to have been involved in attacking one of its owners, sustained serious injuries.
City of Cockburn Rangers were able to safely transport the dog to a nearby veterinary hospital late yesterday. Following an assessment, the vet made the decision to euthanise the animal due to the extent of its injuries.
For privacy reasons, we are unable to provide the name of the veterinary hospital.
The second dog residing at the property was transported to the City’s Animal Management Facility. The dog will remain at the facility until investigations surrounding the incident are finalised.

There is no set period for how long a dog attack investigation can take. It will depend on the availability of witnesses and the circumstances of the attack. However, generally speaking, we aim to finalise our investigations within a couple of weeks.
The investigation involves looking into the circumstances of the attack, whether the dog was provoked, witness statements and the overall injuries sustained.  
Given that this is an open investigation, we cannot provide any further information on the specifics at this time.
The City has no record of the dogs attacking prior to this tragic incident. The City had received two barking complaints about the dogs in 2022.
The events that unfolded on Saturday were incredibly tragic and our thoughts are with Ms Piil and her family. The event would have also been traumatic for the witnesses and first responders, we are ensuring our own staff are being supported after having been confronted with the distressing scenes.

Dog attack statistics in the City of Cockburn -
  • January 2021 - January 2022: 133 reported dog attacks
  • January 2022 - January 2023: 209 reported dog attacks
  • January 2023 to 19 September 2023: 155 reported dog attacks.
The City’s Animal Management and Exercise Plan (2020-2025) encourages responsible dog ownership, including public education programs and campaigns to help improve owner supervision of pets.
To date, there are 15,217 dogs registered in the City.

Investigations surrounding the incident are ongoing and there is no timeframe for its conclusion at this time. 
During this period, the dog will remain at the City’s Animal Management Facility, where it is securely housed to ensure the safety of the dog, other animals at the facility and staff.
The dog will not be euthanised unless the City receives that specific request from the owner.

The $11.5m Operations Centre and Animal Management Facility, which opened in 2017, is a state of the art facility and has been designed with the welfare of any animals it houses, and the staff that care for them.
It is climate controlled, with air-conditioning and heated flooring. The facility is cleaned daily and officers provide regular interaction with the animals housed at the facility throughout the day. 
The animal facility contains the following:
•           Three small dog exercise areas
•           A separate area for cats
•           An isolation area for diseased cats
•           Sally port to accept all types of animals
•           Three livestock areas for horses, sheep, goats and pigs
•           CCTV 24/7
•           Purpose built office area with afterhours accessibility
Sustainability features
•           Solar hot water system
•           30 kVa photovoltaic system
•           LED lighting
•           Shading to lower floor north and west facing windows
•           Airlock to the front entry foyer

Question: Under what circumstances would the City of Cockburn euthanise a dog following an attack without the owner’s consent?
The City would require a destruction order issued by the Courts.
Question: Does the fact that the dog attacked the owner - and not a member of the public - change how the City deals with the incident?
As a result, it is unlikely the City will prosecute the owner.
Question: If the dog is not euthanised, will the animal be released back to the owner and allowed to return home? If not, where would it go?
If the dog is released back to the owner, it will be declared dangerous. Declared dangerous dogs are required to be secured to a higher standard than other dogs. This includes:
  • Warning signs installed at the property
  • Ensuring the dog is housed in an area where it is inaccessible to a person under the age of 7 without the assistance of an adult
  • The dog must be muzzled outside of its secure enclosure
  • The dog is not allowed off-leash at any public dog exercise areas
  • Dangerous dog compliance is monitored by the City of Cockburn.
Declared dangerous dogs are not rehomed by the City, and are euthanised if the registered owner does not want to collect the dog.
Question: How does the City work with the owners of dogs involved in violent attacks? Are there any conditions issued by the council in order to mitigate attacks if a dog is released back into the public?
 Refer to the above response.
Question: Has the City received any further complaints about attacks / incidents involving the two Rottweilers since the investigation has begun?
Question: I have been told by a neighbour one of the dogs attacked a delivery driver between February and June after escaping through the front door to Ms Piil’s property – does the council have any record of this?
We have no record of this.

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.