- Friday 19 December 2014
Sunshine Coast Council’s tough stance on irresponsible dog owners continues with another person fined and convicted in Maroochydore Magistrates Court today.
Yandina resident Michael Hill was fined $5000 and ordered to pay $423.70 court costs after his two American Staffordshire Bullterriers attacked and killed a Shih Tzu in July this year.
Mr Hill was also convicted of failing to take reasonable steps to prevent his dogs attacking another animal.
Sunshine Coast Council Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said this resident’s behaviour demonstrated the “height of irresponsible dog ownership” resulting in the mauling of a much-loved family pet.
“Mr Hill admitted to Council he had spent the previous night drinking and due to his intoxicated state he was unaware his two dogs had roamed from his property and fatally mauled 14-year-old Jazz in a pack-style attack,” Cr McKay said.
“The defendant further stated that on the morning of the attack he released the dogs from their containment to feed them and did not remember locking them back up.
“He was already aware of the propensity of these dogs to roam and act aggressively based on a previous incident.
“Despite this knowledge, on this occasion he again left these two dogs unsupervised, unrestrained and unsecured.”
Cr McKay said Council would not tolerate aggressive behaviour of any kind from dogs and their owners would face the consequences.
“Council will take every option available to us to prosecute and penalise to the full extent of the law,” she said.
“This calendar year there have been 409 dog attacks reported to council, 287 on other animals and 122 on people.
“We have successfully prosecuted 23 dog related matters.
“Last month, we set a precedent in Queensland for a grievous bodily harm conviction and $15,000 fine relating to a serious attack on an elderly man by a declared dangerous dog in Caloundra.
“We followed this up again earlier this month, with the court fining a man more than $16,000 after his two dogs viciously attacked a jogger in Chevallum.
“Council is standing up and fighting to protect everyone’s right to feel safe in their community.
“We have a zero tolerance position when it comes to irresponsible dog ownership and we will not back down.”