Byron Shire Council has fined a Queensland couple $1,600 after their German Shepherd dog attacked a woman running at New Brighton Beach last month.
The dog has also been declared a menacing dog, which means the owners must comply with a number of conditions such as keeping it muzzled while in public.
The council’s community enforcement team tracked down the Queensland couple after a complaint by the 29-year-old woman who was attacked.
Byron Shire Council’s Legal Services Coordinator, Ralph James, said there were two German Shepherds on the beach and one of them bit the woman on the buttocks.
‘When she told the owner he did not seem concerned and walked away,’ Mr James said.
‘This lady had several puncture wounds and scratches and was treated at the hospital for her injuries,’ he said.
‘Luckily a witness saw the incident and passed information onto police and Council’s Community Enforcement Team who tracked down the two Queensland residents who admitted they had their dogs at New Brighton on the 29 September,’ he said.
‘The couple has been given five Penalty Infringement Notices totalling more than $1,600 and have been notified that the dog that attacked the woman will be declared menacing.’
Under section 51 of the NSW Government’s Companion Animals Act, the owner of a menacing dog must comply with certain control requirements including that the dog must be desexed and whilst on the property where it is ordinarily kept, must be enclosed in a manner that is sufficient to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having access to the dog.
When outside the property where the menacing dog is ordinarily kept, the dog must be under the control of a competent person by means of chain, cord or leash and must be muzzled in a manner that is sufficient to prevent it from biting any person or animal.
‘An owner of a menacing dog that does not comply with these requirements is guilty of an offence with a maximum penalty of $ 16,500. If the menacing dog attacks again (people or animals) the maximum penalty is $44,000,’ Mr James said.
‘I am very pleased Council staff were able to fine the owners of the dogs because it was a traumatising experience for the victim,’ he said.
The victim of the dog attack has since contacted the Byron Shire Council to say she was extremely happy the couple from Queensland had been fined over the incident.