Horsham's dangerous dogs could be euthanised under new attack policy

ATTACKED: Lorelei Godfrey with her dog Meika. The pair were attacked near Bennett Road Kindergarten in February. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

ATTACKED: Lorelei Godfrey with her dog Meika. The pair were attacked near Bennett Road Kindergarten in February. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

DANGEROUS dogs that attack livestock or people could be euthanised under Horsham Rural City Council’s new dog attack policy.

Council adopted the policy at a meeting on Monday night.

The policy outlines council’s position on dangerous dogs in the municipality.

It states if there is a serious attack on livestock or a person, council can request the dog’s owner to either surrender the offending dog or euthanise the dog.

Related: Savage dog attack near Horsham kindergarten leaves woman injured, pet fighting for life

The policy defines a serious attack as an attack where the victim requires medical attention – injuries can include broken bones, lacerations or loss of sensation or function in a part of the body.

Council will declare a dog as dangerous if it is responsible for a serious attack on a cat, dog, livestock or person.

Dangerous or restricted dogs will cost $500 a year to be registered.

Planning and economic director Tony Bawden said the policy was a clear pathway for enforcing existing legislation.

“Previously dealing with dog attacks was left largely to the discretion of the rangers,” he said.

“We now have a clear set of options.”

Mr Bawden said the policy would reassure the community that council was being proactive about dangerous dogs.

He said the policy was created after a series of dog attacks in the region.

Cr Pam Clarke said it was a good policy.

“It lays out what needs to happen in a dog attack situation,” she said.

“I’ve seen distressed owners of small dogs that have been attacked and it is a heartbreaking situation.

“It is the owners’ responsibility to keep dogs contained – I know they can dig holes and get out, but it is still the owners’ responsibility.”

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