Three dogs euthanized after separate attacks on WA County residents
A county in southern Washington state said dog owners needed to take more responsibility for their animals after three stray dogs were euthanized following attacks on residents.
Shire of Plantagenet general manager Cameron Woods said rangers had found 21 dogs roaming the area’s roads in the past three months, nine of which were unregistered.
The victims of the three dog attacks required medical attention.
Mr Woods urged dog owners to take responsibility for their pets.
The Dog Act 1976 and the Shire of Plantagenet Dogs Local Law 2008 limit the number of dogs to two per household in residential areas – the property being large enough to contain the dogs.
All dogs must also be registered and microchipped with the county – infractions can result in penalties starting at $ 1,000.
Shire seeks to strengthen dog laws
Mr Woods said penalties had been imposed for various offenses and amended penalties for repeat offenders would be removed and the full offenses law would be used instead.
In the wake of the recent incidents, Plantagenet County, which encompasses the Township of Mount Barker, is reviewing the laws to see if they can be strengthened, while introducing an education campaign to help educate dog owners.
RSPCA WA shelter manager Zoey Wright said the best thing dog owners can do is make sure their dogs are well trained and socialized from a young age to avoid aggressive behavior.
“Educating dog owners and the community – especially children – has a key role to play in reducing dog attacks,” Ms. Wright said.
Mr Woods said that due to funding issues, rangers were unable to perform annual inspections to see if dog owners met the criteria required to retain their dogs on their properties.
“This is a problem that we have to push further towards the states, towards the government to give us that power,” he said.