DOG ATTACK SPIKE IN HILLS

Dog attacks

Two people were hospitalised during a spate of dog attacks in the Hills between March and May this year and five others needed medical treatment.  There have been 16 dog attacks reported to Hills Shire Council in June.

Council said the 48 reported attacks between March 1 and May 31 this year represented a 27 per cent increase on the number of reported dog attacks during the same time frame last year.

A spokesperson for Hills Shire Council said that a total of 56 dogs were involved in the 48 reported incidents. Investigations revealed 24 people had been hurt and 24 attacks were on animals. In five incidents, more than one dog was involved in the attack.

Hills Shire Council is urging dog owners to take extra precautions when securing their dogs in their property and when out for a walk. Of the 38 attacks in a public place, five occurred within Council’s off leash dog parks.

A range of action has been taken including the issuance of Infringement Notices, Nuisance Orders, Declarations of Menacing and Dangerous Dogs.

Hills Shire Mayor Michelle Byrne called the attacks “incredibly concerning”.

“There are more people at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, which means there are more people out and about, and walking their dogs and taking them to dog parks,” she said.

“I encourage owners to ensure their dog/s are adequately secured in their property. This means that there are no holes or gaps in fences and that they are also high enough to prevent breakouts. Dogs should also remain on a leash while out in public.

“In our off-leash areas, owners must be over the age of 16 and have full control of their pets,” she said.

Anyone seeing stray dogs wandering, or any dogs displaying aggressive or dangerous behaviours should report them to council by calling 9843 0555 or using the “Contact Us” button on Council’s website, www.thehills.nsw.gov.au.

Anyone who has witnessed a dog attack a person or an animal, or has been attacked by a dog, irrespective of whether the attack happened on public or on private property, it should be reported immediately.

Council is also encouraging owners to ensure their dog is registered before six months of age unless exempt. The registration fee is a once-only payment, which covers the dog for its lifetime in NSW, regardless of any changes in ownership.

For more information visit, The Hills Shire Council website, www.thehills.nsw.gov.au

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