Council prosecutes man for menacing dog

ALPINE Shire Council has successfully prosecuted a man who caused serious injury to a horse rider by failing to control his dog at a public reserve in Tawonga late last year.

The man appeared before the Myrtleford Magistrates Court on Friday, 20 May charged with a range of offences under the Domestic Animals Act following a dog attack which occurred on October 25 last year.

Three women were riding horses on a public reserve by the Kiewa River when an American Staffy dog belonging to a man camped nearby rushed at them and attacked one of the horses, resulting in the rider coming off her mount. The dog then bit and held on to the woman by the arm.

The owner of the dog and the men he was camping with ran to the scene and, after a considerable struggle with the dog, were able to detach it from her arm. The owner of the dog then took the animal into the river and drowned it.

Council’s Director Sustainable Development Heather Green said Council was prepared to prosecute anyone who put other members of the public at risk by failing to control their animals.

“We will pursue those who, through failing to maintain effective control of their animals, cause distress or injury to other community members,” she said.

“Our residents and visitors have a right to enjoy the outdoors without risk of injury or threat from dogs.

“This incident is particularly serious as, apart from the injury to the victim, investigations carried out by our Local laws Officer following the attack revealed that the dog had been declared Menacing under the Domestic Animals Act in its home Council area, City of Hume.

“This declaration meant the owner had the legal obligation to keep this dog on a leash at all times and ensure it did not pose a risk to other people.

“By failing to do this he has placed community members at risk and has caused physical injury and emotional trauma to a member of the public.”

The RSPCA has been contacted in regards to the method of euthanasia used by the owner of the dog and is expected to also bring charges against the dog owner under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

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