The government is reminding residents with dogs to be responsible pet owners after eight dog attacks were reported to Domestic Animal Services last weekend.
Transport Canberra and City Services director of city presentation Stephen Alegria said rangers responded to reports of eight separate dog attacks across May 5 and 6.
He said the attacks involved dogs attacking people and other animals, with four of the cases occurring at dog parks.
“It is every dog owner’s responsibility to ensure their pets are appropriately socialised, behaved, monitored and under effective control at all times," Mr Alegria said.
"All dogs can be unpredictable and have the capacity to be aggressive and dangerous if they are not managed appropriately."
All eight cases are under investigation.
Since the beginning of 2018 to May 8, 71 dogs have been seized in relation to dog attacks.
“At the ACT’s six dog parks, users are reminded to use the appropriate small or large dog enclosure, to keep their dog under effective control and remove them if they become aggressive or bother other dogs," he said.
"Dog parks are not the place to take poorly trained or unsocialised dogs.”
In December 2017, the ACT government introduced new legislation to help protect the community from dangerous dogs and to hold irresponsible dog owners accountable.
The legislation targets dog owners who act irresponsibly by imposing greater fines and penalties, greater seizure and informant powers, and more effective provisions to reduce illegal breeding and increase compliance with mandatory de-sexing.
“Dog attacks can be traumatic and distressing for all involved,” Mr Alegria said.
“Most dog owners do the right thing, however all owners need to take responsibility,” Mr Alegria said.
Last year, The Canberra Times reported the number of dog attacks in Canberra appeared to be on the rise with a fourfold increase in investigations in just five years.
Dogs that attack are seized while an investigation is undertaken. If it is found to be at fault, the dog may be released on control orders or declared dangerous with strict conditions imposed.
In more serious circumstances, where there is an unacceptable risk to public safety or other animals, the dog may be euthanised.
Dog attacks reported in The Canberra Times in 2017:
- November 14: A Canberra woman was left shaken after her Jack Russell, Evie was mauled to death by an off-leash dog. The search to find the it and the owner is ongoing.
- October 25: Canberra woman, Tania Klemke was killed by 'her best friend' in her Watson home. Police shot the animal dead after they were called by neighbours who heard a man at the property screaming for help.
- September 18: Three dangerous dogs are returned to an Amaroo home after killing a Cavalier King Charles named Daisy in July.
- September 2: Service dog Oreo was attacked in Narrabundah backyard while its owner was overseas. It's believed the dog had been returned to its owner after the attack and then surrendered to a shelter.
- August 6: A 12-year-old poodle, JP, was bitten on the neck and the head by two off-lead pit bulls while running with his owner.
- August 5: Two puppies, Lucky and Lady, survived a vicious mauling from three large dogs that jumped the fence of their Wanniassa backyard by crawling into the laundry via their dog flap.
- March 20: A police officer was bitten by a dog while attempting to arrest a dangerous driver at her home in Kambah.
- January 31: Thirteen-year-old Pomeranian, Buzz, dies after being attacked by three dogs on a public footpath at Yerrabi Pond.
Advice and tips on Responsible Pet Ownership and using dog parks can be found at www.tccs.act.gov.au