Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Dog control message not received

There has been three dog attacks in Deniliquin in the last three days, with one dog being shot but not killed because of the attack.

ZOE MCMAUGH January 14, 2014 4:53am

Deniliquin Council rangers were forced to shoot at a dog they believed may be dangerous on Saturday, highlighting the dog control message is still not getting through.

Council director technical services Mark Dalzell confirmed staff shot at, but did not kill, a dog in north Deniliquin.

The dog, which rangers believe recently attacked a horse, is believed to have been hit by the bullet but ran away.

It has not been located since.

In another attack on the same day, one of Deniliquin Business Chamber executive officer Lisa Berges’ Alaskan malamutes was attacked by what police describe as a ‘‘pig dog’’.

While walking the two dogs near the Deniliquin Swim Centre, the pig dog reportedly jumped on Mrs Berges’ dog and bit the back of its neck.

Mrs Berges said she feared for her own safety during the attack, which lasted ‘‘several minutes’’.

‘‘My dog was on a lead and behaving innocently and correctly, and this dog approached us,’’ she said.

‘‘Even though we kept walking away it viciously attacked my dog.

‘‘This was fearful on many fronts – not only was I worried for the health of my dog but also for myself, as I am four months pregnant and was certainly scared of being pulled into the fight as the aggressive dog was very large and threatening.

‘‘What is the world coming to when you can’t walk down the street innocently with your dogs and not be in fear of other dogs attacking you?

‘‘Why is it that as a responsible dog owner I am impacted by others who don’t share the same regard and respect for the law and for the livelihood and protection of others?’’

Two days earlier, on Tuesday January 7, a resident reported the fourth dog attack in his sheep flock to police.

Between the first attack on December 4 and last week’s attack, two of the property owner’s sheep were killed and another 13 mauled.

Mr Dalzell said the attacks show that concerted efforts to educate dog owners of their responsibilities under the Companion Animals Act are not working.

‘‘We have noted an improvement in how people deal with the control of their dogs, but the requirement for staff to seize (a dog) is still high,’’ he said.

‘‘When we do seize a dog, we talk to the owner and ensure they are mindful of their responsibilities.

‘‘We have ramped up our ranger duties and we have fined a number of dog owners in the last 12 months.

‘‘Owners can be fined for roaming dogs, attacking dogs and non-compliance with the Companion Animals Act.

‘‘There are hefty penalties, but we are still having too many attacks.’’

Mr Dalzell said the shooting incident on Thursday is a last resort course of action for rangers and police.

‘‘It is in the realm of actions we can enforce,’’ he said.

‘‘Unfortunately it was the only way to handle that dog.

‘‘It was acting aggressively and my staff were not going to put themselves in danger.’’

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