Cootamundra dog owners whose pets attack others could be slammed with a $1350 fine.
The state government has introduced a hefty increase in the fines for owners of dogs that attack, even if there is no actual injury.
Previously under the Companion Animals Act, the fine was $550.
According to the Cootamundra Gundagai Regional Council’s annual report for 2017-18, there were 13 dog attacks in this period in the local government area.
From these incidents, 11 infringement notices were issued, two dogs were declared dangerous and six dogs were euthanised. In the other cases the offending dog was unable to be located.
According to the latest state figures, there were 1245 dog attacks between April 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018, across NSW as a whole.
We have a lot of responsible dog owners and they deserve a big thank you.Abb McAlister, mayor
The new laws are being phased in to improve community safety around dogs and to create a disincentive to own dogs that are of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous.
Councils also have the option of formally declaring a dog as dangerous, which increases further the responsibilities owners have to keep their animals under control in public.
Owners could be asked to have their dog wear a specific striped collar and a muzzle in public, put up warning signs at their property or keep their pet in a special enclosure.
Mayor Abb McAlister has been quick to praise residents for being responsible pet owners, on the back of the small number of incidents recorded across the Cootamundra Gundagai area.
“We have a lot of responsible dog owners and they deserve a big thank you,” Councillor McAlister said.
“It is also a credit to the rangers and the job they do, particularly in educating people about their responsibilities as pet owners.”
With Christmas approaching, Cr McAlister is encouraging people to make sure their dogs and cats are microchipped.
“If you have a new dog or cat, make sure they are microchipped and registered,” he said.
The mayor also encouraged people to have their pets desexed.
Figures show the dog breeds involved in the most recorded attacks between April 1, 2018, and June 30, 2018, across NSW were:
American Staffordshire terrier: 155 cases
Bull terrier (Staffordshire): 110
Australian cattle dog: 69
German shepherd: 68
Labrador retriever: 27
Siberian husky: 27
Australian kelpie: 26