Acting on concerns about dogs
1 Oct 2011 Edition
Council officers have begun visiting local properties where dogs that are potentially of a restricted breed are kept.
Following a fatal attack by a pit bull on
a Melbourne child, the State Government has brought in new laws to provide more protection against potentially dangerous dogs.
The new laws expand the types of dogs that can be declared to be of a restricted breed. For example, while pit bulls were previously a restricted breed dog, the new definitions include dogs that are cross-bred with pit bulls.
Dogs of a restricted breed must be kept under strict conditions. The property where the dog is kept must have a 1.8 metre high fence in the backyard, and the dog must be muzzled and on a leash when outside the property.
In coming months, Council’s Animal Management officers will visit properties where registration and/or microchip records indicate a pit bull terrier cross, American bulldog or American Staffordshire terrier is kept.
Council officers will check the dog to see if it has the standard appearance and characteristics of a restricted breed dog. If they declare the dog to be of a restricted breed, dog owners will have 28 days in which to appeal against the declaration to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. In circumstances where officers feel the dog poses a threat to the community, the dog will be seized until VCAT rules on the matter. Dogs which are unregistered and are of a restricted breed are likely to be seized under most circumstances.
Prior to the new definitions, there were five restricted breed dogs registered in Yarra. Officers have recently inspected the properties where those dogs are kept. The dogs were being kept under most of the conditions required but each owner has been advised of their responsibility to install signage at all entrances to their property warning that a restricted breed dog is kept there.
If community members have any concerns about local dogs, please contact a new State Government hotline or ring us directly. You can call the hotline on 1300 101 080 between 8am-6pm daily. The information you provide will be passed on to Council to investigate. The hotline should not be used in an emergency – if you are in immediate danger, please call 000. To report your concerns to Council directly, please contact us on 9205 5063 or 9205 5555 (after hours).
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