The City of Mandurah will take a “tougher” approach on enforcement after more than 1000 dog attacks were reported in the past five years and only five people were summoned to appear in court.
Statistics from September revealed 307 infringements were given to dog owners by the city since 2013/2014.
The Mandurah Mail highlighted the prevalence of the issue, after attacks in the City of Mandurah had increased from 223 reports in 2013/14 to 273 in 2017/18 – the highest number in the last five years.
The city had stood by its philosophy that education for owners was more effective than punishment.
But this week, City of Mandurah chief executive officer Mark Newman has said there will be a review into the approach.
“While repeat attacks are rare, it is clear that some dog owners are failing to understand the consequences of not taking responsibility for their animal,” he said.
“With this in mind the city is reviewing its approach to our enforcement response to attacks, with a view to tougher action in the future.”
With this in mind the city is reviewing its approach to our enforcement response to attacks, with a view to tougher action in the future.City of Mandurah chief executive officer Mark Newman
Mr Newman said the consequence for each attack would be assessed individually.
“The City of Mandurah assesses each dog attack on a case by case basis, taking into consideration a range of factors in relation to fines and potential destruction of the animal,” he said.
“It is not the city’s preferred position to automatically seek the destruction of the dog involved, often the owners will surrender their pets for euthanisation.”
Further research by the Mail has revealed attacks and infringements in Rockingham are on par with Mandurah.
In Rockingham, attacks have also increased from 236 reports in 2013, to 257 reports in 2017.
There have been 311 infringements given to Rockingham dog owners since 2013 and 20 people have been summoned to appear in court.
City of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels said dog attacks were the “most serious” offence rangers investigated.
“While the number of investigations in the city has remained relatively consistent over the last five years, the number of incidents that have resulted in enforcement action has increased year-on-year since 2013,” he said.
“The city takes dog attacks extremely seriously and residents are reminded that they are responsible for the actions of their pets.”