SEVEN DEAD DOGS: Family’s shameful secret

 

A SINGLE Cairns family has been ordered to have seven violent dogs killed in the past year as shocking new canine attack statistics come to light.

Cairns Regional Council has revealed it received 56 dog attack complaints in January - a 16 per cent rise on the same month last year.

It also issued 49 fines to owners, received 121 wandering dog reports, and 49 complaints over excessive barking during the same month.

Those numbers were all cause for concern - but was one Manoora family's repeated issues had division 9 councillor Brett Olds riled up.

Chilling new dog attack statistics have been revealed for the Cairns region.
Chilling new dog attack statistics have been revealed for the Cairns region.


"We have one family that has had seven dogs put down in the past year," he said.

"As a council, we can work with the owner to euthanise dogs that kill other dogs or keep biting people.

"But we should have the ability to tell someone they can't own another dog for a year or years, or ever again," he said.

Cr Brett Olds says council dog inspectors need more powers to crack down on dropkick pet owners. Picture: Brendan Radke
Cr Brett Olds says council dog inspectors need more powers to crack down on dropkick pet owners. Picture: Brendan Radke

"The local council should have more autonomy so if a family does have seven dogs in a row that keep killing dogs and biting people, we can say they can't have another pet."

The rise in aggressive animals was something DogzCairns president Jim Kelly was acutely aware of - and part of the reason why he would never take his own pets to busy off-leash parks.

The council can currently “work with” owners to have aggressive dogs put down — a process that invariably results in a costly court case if the owners refuse. It cannot stop them from buying a new dog and going through the whole process again.
The council can currently “work with” owners to have aggressive dogs put down — a process that invariably results in a costly court case if the owners refuse. It cannot stop them from buying a new dog and going through the whole process again.

"You'll get the owners that are helpful but there are those that don't give a damn," he said.

"The council's parks for letting dogs off and running, I personally will not go there.

"What happens there is a pack mentality.

"All it takes is one dog that's a bit skittish and nervous to run and the other dogs will take off after it.

"It becomes that pack mentality and that can cause an attack."

Population growth and rising fears over crime have led to an upswing in pet ownership — and dog behavioural problems. Picture: Brendan Radke
Population growth and rising fears over crime have led to an upswing in pet ownership — and dog behavioural problems. Picture: Brendan Radke

Chilling CCTV footage emerged in December of a 74-year-old woman and a small dog being set upon by two larger dogs in Edge Hill.

Publicity over the attack led to a renewed push within the council to invest more resources into its Paw Patrol.

Mr Olds said the committee was looking at ways to give dog inspectors more power to act - including the potential need for the State Government to grant extra powers.

"Sometimes you need a big stick and you don't want to just wave it at someone - you need to hit them," he said.

Originally published as SEVEN DEAD DOGS: Cairns family's shameful secret



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