Promoting responsible pet ownership
Published on 10 October 2019
Gannawarra Shire Council is encouraging pet owners to adhere to laws relating to responsible pet ownership.
Council has received numerous reports recently of owners walking their dogs off leash and incidents where dogs have attacked people and other animals.
“It is the animal owner’s responsibility to ensure dogs are on a leash and are controlled at all times,” Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Development, Geoff Rollinson said.
“Dogs off leash in approved areas must be under effective voice control, meaning you must be able to control your dog by the second call.
“It is also important that your dog can’t escape from your home or backyard, or attack a passer-by from where it is confined.”
Dogs can be walked off leash on private property, at recreation reserves when a sporting fixture 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.
Infringement penalties range from $165 for allowing a dog to rush or chase a person, to $413 for a non-serious injury caused by dog attack. More serious offences are dealt with through the Magistrates’ Court, which can result in penalties of up to $1,650 plus legal costs and court convictions.
“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.
Further information is available online at www.gsc.vic.gov.au, by phoning (03) 5450 9333 or visiting Council’s Customer Service Centres at Cohuna and Kerang.