Page 1205 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 29 March 2017
physically injured, she would have been mentally scarred for life. I’m still trying to come to terms with it myself.
Whilst we are not seeking revenge, we have grave concerns that having attacked once, these dogs if let out in the public arena again will pose a serious risk to other small animals and children alike if the appropriate action is not taken to ensure that this never happens again to another family.
After two months the Toscans have been sent a letter from domestic animal services to say the dog walkers had received an infringement notice and the dogs will be returned to their owner. The dog walkers were fined $350 each. The owner was not fined a cent. The owner was sent conditions for the return of the dogs. The dogs have to live at the owner’s home and must not attack other animals or people at the owner’s home. The owner must inform the authorities if the dogs change address, and the dogs cannot be sold without permission. The home has to have a secure yard with secure gates. They must be on a leash if taken outside the property, and cannot be walked by people under 16 years of age. They must be muzzled when out of the home.
The only real inconvenience imposed on the owner beyond what would be considered good dog management is that three dogs have to be muzzled in public. The dogs were not declared dangerous. In most other states or territories these dogs would at least be declared dangerous, and significant restrictions placed on them. They may have been euthanased. Instead in the ACT they are sent home.
In a public statement on radio yesterday, the owner of the three dogs that killed the Toscans’ dog said he, as a result of the killing, would be more careful with his dogs around the young children that live in his house. You would hope he will be very careful, Madam Assistant Speaker.
The issues that I raise here today are not new. In 2010, after having his son attacked at the throat and having his small dog mauled by two dogs, Dr Paul Crowhurst called for action on vicious dogs. Days after the attack, the dogs were still roaming the streets. These dogs had broken into Dr Crowhurst’s secure backyard to maul the family pet.
In 2014 Renee had her two small dogs mauled to death in her locked backyard. She established an online petition which called on the government to have an inquiry into domestic animal services. In 2015 dogs broke into a family home in Dunlop and killed pet dogs and injured an owner. The dogs broke down the locked front screen door to get access to the other dogs.
In 2016 there was public pressure about dangerous dogs and dog attacks, calling on the government to set up an independent inquiry into the management of dogs in the ACT. The directorate refused an independent review but convened a working group to advise on improvements that could be made. Despite being told that this group would provide feedback, no information to date has been made publicly available.
This is not just a call from the victims of dog attacks for better management of dangerous dogs in the ACT. This is not just a call from opposition politicians on the government to provide leadership on the dog issue and show resolve in solving