The owner of a dog which attacked and bit a woman in a Byron Bay park last year was fined $5,000 in Byron Bay Local Court yesterday.
The court also ordered the owner never be allowed to own another dog and that her Rhodesian Ridgeback cross, which had been subject to numerous complaints to Byron Shire Council and been declared dangerous, be destroyed.
Council’s coordinator of legal services, Ralph James, told media that because of the dog’s history of complaints from the public, council had no option but to take the dog owner to court.
Mr James said the dog had been reported before to council, which had to respond five times, and the issue came to head after the attack on the woman in the park last April.
He told the ABC that during those previous times, the dog had been declared a nuisance, council had imposed on-the-spot penalties on the owner, then declared it dangerous.
‘And still the owner allowed the dog to be at large, in a park area… an unfortunately a person was bitten,’ he said.
Bravo Byron Rangers!
There should be more of these prosecutions and banning orders. Just keep a close eye on the owner and initiate contempt proceedings if he/she owns a dog again.
We should also take a close look at classifying all large, hunting type breeds as menacing because as repeatedly shown, owners of these breeds allow them to terrorise people and other animals. Ask anyone who tries to exercise their dog in leash free areas on beaches etc.
Dogs should not be punished for the owners poor actions and lack of responsibility. The dog should have been taken and rehabilitated for his behaviour.
Kate – you do know that Rhodesian Ridgebacks were bred originally to kill lions? And how would you feel if as you suggest, the dog bit somebody again? Go back and read the story – this dog is a serious offender And by the way I love dogs.
Good to see that dog attacks are being taken seriously these days. For too long dog owners have had immunity from prosecution for the dangers their dogs posed to the public.
The place is full of irresponsible dog owners.
Hit them all with a $5,000 fine and give the money to the RSPCA.
Irrespective of the breed it’s all the fault of humans who (a) have them in the first place and (b) don’t discipline them or at least leave them home in an exercise run. I feel sorry for the dog.