Council concerned by increase in number of dog attacks

Published on 28 March 2024


Gannawarra Shire Council is encouraging pet owners to adhere to laws relating to responsible pet ownership following an increase in the number of reported dog attacks.

During the past month Council staff have investigated numerous incidents of dogs roaming off leash and/or not being confined to their properties.

Investigations are occurring in relation to rushing and biting incidents that result in death or serious injury to other pets.

“Animal owners are responsible for ensuring their dogs are contained to their properties, and if they are walking with their owner, be on a leash and are controlled at all times,” Council Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Rollinson said.

Owners whose dogs rush at or chase someone can be fined and have their animals declared as a menacing dog. If your dog attacks a person or animal, penalties can include court action, fines, damages, declaration of your dog as dangerous and euthanisation of your dog.

“Council recognises that the majority of pet owners are responsible and caring, however pet owners who allow their pets to roam off leash will face the consequences of their actions and as a result may be charged and prosecuted if their dogs cause injury or menace,” Mr Rollinson said.

Dogs can be walked off leash on private property, at recreation reserves when a sporting event is not taking place and parks not listed in Council Policy 68 - Dogs and Cats Designated Areas, which specifies Apex Park, Garden Park and Gilrule Park at Cohuna, Kerang’s Atkinson Park and Gorton Point at Kangaroo Lake as locations where dogs must be kept on a leash.

It is also an offence for an owner to fail to carry a suitable animal litter device to clean up after their dog if required.

Further information is available online at, by phoning (03) 5450 9333 or visiting Council’s Customer Service Centres at Cohuna and Kerang.

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