Dog attacks on the rise

The number of reported dog attacks and ‘rushes’ in Brimbank has rocketed.

The municipality recorded a 64 per cent spike in the number of reported incidents in the past financial year.

There were 163 dog attacks and rushes across Brimbank, the equivalent of almost one every two days, up from the 99 reported cases for 2015-16.

It’s the first major increase of reported incidents in the past five years and comes at a time when the number of registered dogs within Brimbank is at a five-year low.

Brimbank council director city development Stuart Menzies said the rise in reported cases is a symptom of greater awareness.

“The increase in dog attacks in the last financial year reflects what the council believes is a higher level of reporting of dog attacks and dog rushes by the community,” Mr Menzies said. “The statistics include multiple reports of single incidents, as well as incidents that after investigation are not considered to be an attack or a dog rush.

“Of the incidents reported in 2016-17, seven were deemed serious enough to proceed to prosecution by council in the magistrates court.”

A council report showed that 129 incidents of dog attack required investigation last year.

There were 10,583 dogs registered within Brimbank during the past financial year, a significant drop from the 12,324 registered in 2015-16.

Of those registered, 23 are regarded as a restricted breed, one falls into the category of a menacing dog.

Mr Menzies said that community safety and the prevention of dog attacks is a priority for the council.

“Council welcomes all reports of dog attacks or rushes … even of a minor nature, as part of our commitment to community safety and responsible pet ownership,” he said.

At last month’s meeting, the council adopted a new domestic animal management plan which outlines a range of activities the council will undertake over the next four years to promote responsible pet ownership.