VICIOUS: Crackdown leaves dog owners with $10,000 fines

TWO dog owners have been ordered to pay almost $10,000 in fines following successful prosecutions by Sunshine Coast Council.

The separate cases, both heard in Caloundra Magistrates Court, involved an attack on another dog resulting in serious injuries and an attack on another dog resulting in injury to both the dog and a person.

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the irresponsible behaviour and disregard for the law shown by these dog owners had devastating effects on the victims.

"After all the dog attacks we have heard about both locally and across the nation, it's hard to believe dog owners are still not taking responsibility for their animals," Cr McKay said.

"Someone's dog causing injury to another animal and injury to a human simply should not happen and council will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to irresponsible dog ownership.

"The devastating outcomes in cases like these prove how important it is to always ensure that dogs are properly contained to their properties and kept on a lead when in public places."

The first case involved two dogs attacking a small dog.

The offending dogs were being walked off-lead on a public walkway when they attacked a small dog being walked on-lead by an elderly man, causing serious injuries to the dog.

The attacking dog's owner submitted a written guilty plea and expressed regret about the incident. 

The owner also paid all veterinary expenses, which the court took into consideration during sentencing. 

Despite the guilty plea and show of remorse, the magistrate observed that the injured animal suffered considerable trauma and imposed a fine of $1200 and ordered the owner to also pay $192.30 in court costs and $500 in professional costs. 

No conviction was recorded.

The second case involved a dog attack on another dog, a person and another animal, resulting in serious injury.

The offending dog was not properly enclosed and roamed from its home.

While roaming, the dog attacked a small dog being walked, causing serious injuries that required emergency vet treatment. A member of the public attempted to protect the small dog and was also injured resulting in medical treatment. The offending dog then went on to attack livestock on a nearby property causing minor injury to a calf.

A conviction was recorded and the dog owner was found guilty of five charges, resulting in a $6000 fine and an order to pay $288.45 in court costs and $1750 in professional costs.

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