There have been 133 dog attacks in the Clarence Valley this year and according to Clarence Valley Council regulatory services supervisor, Tim Brenton, most could have been avoided if people had taken two simple steps.
The first was to make sure dogs were always on a lead when being taken for a walk and the second was to ensure yards were properly fenced.
“The seriousness of the attacks varied, but these were the common threads,” he said.
“Unless they are in an off-leash area, dogs must be on a leash if they are outside their property.
“And dog owners need to take all reasonable steps to ensure their dog is confined to the property where it is kept.”
In an effort to inform dog owners of their responsibilities the council has produced a brochure called ‘Take the Lead’ that will be distributed widely around the Clarence Valley and available at its customer service centres in Grafton and Maclean.
“Having a dog is wonderful,” Mr Brenton said.
“But having a dog comes with responsibilities and this brochure aims to make people aware of those.”
The brochure also contains a list of off-leash areas around the Clarence Valley and some of the penalties that apply for breaches of the Companion Animals Act. For example, not immediately removing dog faeces from a public place can result in a $275 fine or a person in charge of a dog that rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases a person or animal can cop a fine of $1320.