The ACT government will double its number of rangers after a fatal dog attack in Canberra's north on Wednesday morning.
City services minister Meegan Fitzharris said recruitment for eight extra rangers would begin as soon as possible, as the ACT Opposition moves to introduce a bill to tighten up dangerous dog laws.
However it is unclear whether the dog that attacked and killed Watson woman, Tania Klemke, was a declared dangerous dog.
Ms Fitzharris confirmed rangers had been called to the Molesworth Street property by police in late August after the same dog attacked a visitor to the home. The dog itself was also injured.
Ms Fitzharris said police and Domestic Animal Services were still trying to determine whether the dog had been seized or subject to an order.
"Clearly the dog was dangerous, clearly the dog has attacked someone overnight, someone we understand to be their owner or carer and that woman has died," Ms Fitzharris said.
"Whether we knew enough at the time to have it declared as a dangerous dog is another matter we're following up on."
In the latest incident, police were called to the home about 3.40am when neighbours heard a man calling for help.
Detective Acting Superintendent Tony Crocker said the man led police into the home, but officers were then attacked by the dog as they attempted first aid on Ms Klemke, inside.
Police were forced to shoot the animal dead, but officers were not injured, Superintendent Crocker said.
It is understood the man was visiting the woman when the animal, which is believed to have lived at the home, attacked the pair.
The man was also taken to hospital after being bitten on the leg.
The ACT government ran a campaign on responsible dog ownership after a string of brutal dog attacks in the territory.
A Transport Canberra and City Services spokesman said there were 389 reported dog attacks in the territory during the 2016-17 financial year, and 14 dogs were declared dangerous.
"I've been saying for some time people who own dogs need to take responsibility for them. I think people with large strong dogs have a particular responsibility about the behaviour of those dogs and the community's safety," Ms Fitzharris said.
"If owners cannot take responsibility for their own dogs the ACT government will. I have aid in the chamber last month enough is enough. If you own a dog you really do need to take care and understand your responsibility as a dog owner."
The Canberra Liberals have also been lobbying for laws to make it easier to punish the owners of dogs that attack people or pets.
Opposition leader Alistair Coe said he would not comment on the case before a briefing on Thursday morning but his concerns about current dangerous dog laws were "well-known".
"Even last year in 2016 there were 155 presentations to the emergency departments of our public hospitals due to dangerous dogs. That was up 100 per cent based on 2014 figures," Mr Coe said.
"It is simply unacceptable that we have had so many dog attacks in Canberra. It a genuine tragedy and we've got to make sure we've got the right policies in place to try to minimise the recurrence of these sorts of attacks."
Mr Coe said the Liberals would table legislation in the coming month that would tackle the "default" position of dogs being given back to their owners after attacking people or animals.
"I think we've got to make sure we get the balance of justice right and at the moment I don't think we've got it right," Mr Coe said.
"We also need to look is whether we've got the appropriate penalties in place for people who do keep dangerous dogs and exactly what is the right inspection regime for the government to make sure dogs that are thought to be dangerous or could be dangerous are in a secure environment but as we've seen today tragic events are happening and we've got to make sure the policy settings are right to try and minimise these events from happening in the future."
Retiring Liberal politician Steve Doszpot, who spearheaded the push for stronger laws, offered his "heartfelt" condolences to the woman's family.
"In recent months, my colleagues and I have received many reports from people in the community who have experienced or witnessed a vicious dog attack. This terrible incident has strengthened our resolve to work with the government to ensure we have stronger laws around dangerous dogs," Mr Doszpot said.
However Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said they would not support laws that targeted particular breeds of dogs.
"There is no evidence that particular breed of dogs are more dangerous, certainly that's the scientific evidence we've had in the past which is why we're reluctant to go down that pathway," Mr Rattenbury said.
Ms Fitzharris also confirmed Wednesday's attack took place at a Housing ACT property.
Two lawsuits were filed against the ACT government this year over dog attacks in public housing complexes.
In one case, two pitbulls that played "tug of war" with six-year-old Jack Hartigan in 2010, leaving him with severe injuries. The dogs had been the subject of repeated complaints.
In the other, Daniel Meyers lost a finger, part of his hand and tricep, and suffered nerve damage after he was set upon by two pitbulls in March last year. The government had also been warned about those dogs.
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