Patrols to tackle dog attacks

IN AN effort to curb the growing problem of dog attacks, Byron Shire Council rangers have increased patrols over the past month.

Acting senior ranger Scott Brodie said dog owners needed to take responsibility for their pets.

“Attacks are occurring where dogs are allowed to roam uncontrolled,” he said.

“Or irresponsible owners are taking aggressive dogs into leash-free areas.”

Mr Brodie said dog owners were required to carry a leash at all times when in leash-free areas.

This included when entering or leaving leash-free areas.

Lismore ranger team leader Joe Monks said common sense could also help reduce the number of attacks.

“People should not pat adog they do not know,” he said.

“And children shouldn't be allowed to play unsupervised with dogs, even their own.”

Should people come across an aggressive dog on the street Mr Monks said they should stand still, cross their arms in front of their body and don't look the dog in the eye.

Never run from an aggressive dog, but move away slowly so as not to antagonise him any further, he said.

“If you are walking your own dog and they are attacked, one school of thought is to let your dog off their lead so they can run away,” Mr Monks said.

Dogs must wear a collar, identification tag and beunder the control of a responsible person when in public places.

There are large on-the-spot fines for dog owners if their dog is not on a leash, or if it attacks another dog or person.

Dog attacks can incur aminimum $550 on-the-spot fine, and can range up to $55,000 and/or five years' imprisonment for a subsequent attack.

A dog without a leash in a public place means the owner can incur a minimum $220 on-the-spot fine.

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