Prevent the dog having access to the area on your premises where the dog tends to bark (i.e. by blocking access down the side of a house or to the front yard).
What if I make a false complaint?
Making a false report (for whatever reason) may result in civil court action being taken against the complainant for a false declaration.
Dogs that roam are potentially a public safety risk to motorists, pedestrians and other animals. Irresponsible owners will be liable for any injuries or damage caused by their dog.
Dog attacks on adults are caused mostly by dogs roaming outside their owners’ properties. Children who come into contact with roaming dogs at parks and other public places are more vulnerable to dog attacks.
Keep your dog adequately confined on your property and follow the rules of responsible pet ownership to help prevent your dog attacking someone.
Roaming dogs often approach and sometimes attack other dogs.
Everyone is entitled to walk in their neighbourhood without being harassed or attacked by uncontrolled and often quite frightening dogs.
Even if your dog is well behaved, it can be frightening to other people if it is roaming unattended.
Although you may think your dog is unlikely to attack a person, roaming dogs often approach and sometimes attack other dogs. Responsible pet owners and their dogs are often targets of these attacks.
A dog attack is a very serious matter. If your dog attacks a person or another animal, you will be held responsible even if you are not there at the time.
Serious dog attacks
Recent amendments to the Act have introduced separate penalties for a serious dog attack where physical injury occurs, and a minor dog attack where no physical injury occurs.
This means that a dog attack can include a dog aggressively rushing at or attempting to attack a person or animal, as well as tearing clothing, biting or causing physical injury.
Court imposed penalties
Court imposed penalties for dog attacks range from $3,000 to $20,000 depending on the seriousness of the attack and whether the dog is known to be dangerous. A local government may also choose to issue an infringement notice.
If you urge your dog to attack, you may receive a penalty of up to $10,000 and 12 months imprisonment, or $20,000 and 2 years imprisonment for dangerous dogs.
You may have a defence if your dog is provoked, attacked or abused, or if someone unlawfully enters your premises, including a private residence or vehicle.
Local governments may seek a court order for a dog to be destroyed if it has attacked and caused injury or damage.
Liability for injury or damage
The dog’s owner is also liable for any injury or damage resulting from a dog attack. A person who has been attacked may take private legal action for any injury or damage.
Preventing dog attacks
To reduce the potential for dog attacks, dog owners should: