Dangerous dog numbers rise

Abigail required stitches after being bitten by a dog in January. Photo: Supplied

By Alesha Capone

The number of menacing and dangerous dogs registered with Wyndham council has increased across 12 months.

The council’s director of city operations, Stephen Thorpe, said there are 14 dogs in the municipality that have been declared dangerous, five due to attacks and nine which are classified as guard dogs.

Mr Thorpe said a further 19 dogs have been registered as menacing, resulting in 33 dangerous and menacing dogs being registered with council.

In April last year there were 26 dangerous and menacing dogs registered, of which nine were categorised as dangerous and 17 as menacing.

.In Victoria, councils can declare a dog as dangerous if they have bitten or attacked a person or animal, resulting in death or serious injury.

Councils can declare a dog as menacing if they are recorded as rushing or chasing a person in an aggressive manner (such as snarling and growling within a three-metre radius of a person).

Dogs can also be declared as menacing if they bite a person or animal, resulting in a non-serious injury.

Canines of any breed can be declared dangerous or menacing.

Mr Thorpe said that in 2020, the council received 58 reports of dog attacks on people and 76 reports of attacks upon animals.

“These figures are lower than 2019, when we received 69 reports of dog attacks on people and 129 reports of attacks on animals,” he said.

Mr Thorpe said council officers used a variety of enforcement measures when a dog attack was reported, depending on the severity and circumstances of each individual incident.

“These can range from setting an animal management plan, the dog being surrendered by their owners or legal prosecution,” he said.

“If a resident or their pet has been involved in an incident, we encourage them to contact council on 9742 0777.”

On January 8 this year, a five-year-old girl named Abigail was bitten by a dog in the front yard if her home in Ostend Crescent, Point Cook.

The dog belonged to a friend of her older brother. The dog bit Abigail near her nose when she was patting it.

Abigail’s mother took her to hospital, where she had stitches for a facial injury.

Mr Thorpe said the council “has thoroughly investigated the incident and the events leading up to it”.

“We can confirm that all parties were co-operative during the investigation and appropriate action has been taken,” he said.

“An animal management plan has been put in place with the dog’s owners.”