Deniliquin community members frightened by roaming dogs.By Zoe McMaugh
Community members are calling on pet owners and Deniliquin Council to be more vigilant in dealing with roaming and barking dogs.
A Deniliquin woman, who did not want to be named, told the Pastoral Times she was still frightened by the sight of roaming dogs after being charged at by two large dogs while out running six months ago.
She said she would like to see a more proactive approach from the Deni Council ranger staff in dealing with roaming dogs.
Several other people echoed the woman’s concerns via a post on Facebook.
‘‘It was two dogs, not just one, and both were quite large, probably coming up to my hip,’’ the woman said of her run-in with the dogs.
‘‘They came up close enough for me to kick them, which I was almost forced to do.
‘‘If anything had happened, there would have been no one around to help.
‘‘I had to change my (running) route, but it’s getting harder and harder to pick where to run or walk. I just want for people to think about the trauma it does to people, and they should keep their dogs confined to their yards.’’
The calls for greater care in controlling dogs come after a roaming dog was hit by a car in Hardinge St last Tuesday.
Another Deniliquin woman said she had to take a wide berth around the same dog earlier that same morning when it was barking at her walking group on Hardinge St.
Deniliquin Council manager technical services Mark Dalzell said the dog had come under the ranger’s attention previously for roaming, but had ‘‘unfortunately got out again’’.
Mr Dalzell reminded all pet owners that it is illegal for a dog to be in public without effective control.
He said council does have a strict policy when dealing with wandering dogs — a ‘‘one strike policy’’.
‘‘If we capture a roaming dog a second time, and the owner has already been warned, the normal process is to seize the dog and issue a nuisance dog order.
‘‘We do also have the option to go down the dangerous dog path if needed. The owner may also be fined.’’
Council’s approach to roaming and barking dogs has been criticised by another local resident however, who said several complaints about barking dogs have never resulted in a suitable outcome.
‘‘If they have a chip, roaming dogs are simply returned to their owner,’’ the resident said.
‘‘I don’t have a dog, but I have to listen to them all the time.
‘‘I put in a complaint about a barking dog and I had to do a lot of paperwork, but the ranger does nothing.
‘‘I was told nothing could be done because of the Companion Animals Act.’’
Mr Dalzell said the Companion Animals Act does set in place a process rangers must abide by.
He said rangers do take action when necessary, however.
‘‘In terms of barking dogs, there seems to be an expectation that we can just take the dog away.
‘‘There is a path we need to take, however, and we need to make sure we follow the process.
‘‘That process also allows us to notify the complainant of the progress.
‘‘The matters do get handled under the Companion Animals Act, but it is a process rather than immediate action.’’
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