Dachshund decapitated as serious attacks rise
WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES
MORETON Bay is at crisis point over the alarming number of serious dog attacks in recent weeks - one of which left a dachshund decapitated and others savagely killed.
The council region north of Brisbane has averaged one serious attack for the past 14 weeks, seven resulting in deaths of victim animals and some left residents hospitalised or needing reconstructive surgery.
A council spokesman said one dog jumped a fence into its victim's yard where it killed and ate the dachshund's head.
In another incident a woman returned home to find her bed covered in blood after a neighbouring canine got into her house and killed her pooch.
The council Mayor Allan Sutherland last Wednesday addressed the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) annual conference to lobby the State Government for legislative change.
He wants a review of the Animal Management Act and Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to make it tougher for irresponsible owners to appeal decisions against their pets and give councils more powers to investigate these incidents.
"These unprovoked and malicious dog attacks are happening in every area of our region on kids walking home from school, mums jogging in parks, elderly citizens walking their lifelong companions," Cr Sutherland said.
"And the trauma of these kinds of attacks stays with people for life, frankly I don't think your paper would be able to publish half the grotesque pictures I've seen following some dog attacks.
"I know 99 per cent of people are doing the right thing, but having met with victims I can't in good conscience let the one per cent get away with ruining other people's lives."
He argues there is a direct correlation between dog owners who mistreat their animals and those dangerous canines - a point that has been backed up by RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend previously.
"Dogs aren't born aggressive, it's the way they're treated and socialised. You'll find aggressive dogs with aggressive people," he said in June after an elderly man we set upon by three large dogs in Burpengary.
Caboolture and Morayfield have ranked as the worst two suburbs in the state for animal cruelty reports for at least the past four years and Deception Bay also rates highly, according to the RSPCA.
Although, the problem isn't centralised to those suburbs; serious attacks have happened across the region from Newport, Everton Hills and Samford to Narangba, Scarborough and Beachmere.
Moreton Bay dog owners have been fined $62,200 plus a further $42,000 in legal costs from serious dog attack incidents since June 2017, but the Mayor wants to be able to do more.
"Our Local Laws team have a high success rate prosecuting irresponsible dog owners with fines up to $15,000 but Council is powerless to do more without the support of our courts and the State Government," Cr Sutherland said.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath and Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Mark Furner have agreed to discuss the changes.
"Minister Furner and I will consider this matter and are happy to meet with the councils on what they propose to ensure fair and just laws that protect families and protect the rights of pet owners," Ms D'Ath said.