The owner of a dog that attacked a Byron shire café worker and bit off part of her nose is facing a fine of up to $77,000 and five years in jail.
Byron Shire Council rangers charged the owner of the mastiff dog after the 30-year-old woman was attacked at the Roadhouse Café between Byron Bay and Suffolk Park.
The young woman, who worked at the café, is recovering in a Gold Coast hospital after undergoing reconstructive surgery following the attack.
Tweed/Byron local area command inspector Chad Deegan said the attack happened about 1.40pm on 24 July.
‘A 30-year-old lady was bitten by a dog, a mastiff, and received a serious injury to her nose,’ Inspector Deegan said.
‘Police attended and council rangers were notified, and the dog was destroyed at the owner’s request.
Insp Deegan said council rangers were investigating the matter.
A Byron Shire Council spokesman said the dog owner had been issued with a court attendance notice to appear in court on 20 August.
Byron Shire Council’s legal services coordinator, Ralph James, confirmed that there had been a dog attack against a person last Friday in Byron Bay.
‘The attack was serious, the person had significant injuries, and was reported to council rangers by police.”
‘Rangers investigated that matter and early this week, council commenced local court proceedings.
‘The dog had previously been declared menacing and as a result of the owner’s failure to comply with one or more of the menacing dog control requirements, which facilitated the attack, legal proceedings have commenced.’
The offence carries a maximum penalty $77,000 or imprisonment for five years. There is a jurisdictional maximum penalty of $22,000 or imprisonment for two years.
Conviction for the offence results in permanent disqualification from owning a dog or from being in charge of a dog in a public place.
‘The dog has since been euthanised,’ Mr James said.
Mr James reported that dangerous/menacing dogs and dog attacks are a priority for Council.
He urged all dog owners to ensure that dogs do not roam, are housed in a secure yard and are under the control of a responsible adult when out in public.
‘Fines apply if pet owners are found to not be complying,’ he said.