Killer dog's owner could face thousands of dollars in fines

UPDATE 4.23pm: THE owner of a dog that attacked a woman and killed her dog could face fines of more than $34,000, Sunshine Coast Council has said.

Responding to questions about the incident, a council spokeswoman said its investigation was ongoing.

"The offending dog, an American Staffordshire terrier, has been collected by Council and will be held until the investigation is complete," the spokesperson said. 

"The length of the investigation is dependent upon the availability of witnesses, the victim and the dog owner."

The attack left Minyama woman Vicki Afflick in hospital with injuries to her fingers and her 4-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Toby, dead after the staffie attacked Toby, ultimately dragging him into its own backyard and killing him.

"A decision about the enforcement action will not be made until the investigation is finalised," the spokesperson said.

"Enforcement action for dog attacks can include fines of up to $34,000 and euthanasia of an animal.

"Council however does not make the decision to euthanise animals lightly.

"Community safety is our priority and Sunshine Coast Council maintains a zero tolerance approach to dangerous and aggressive dogs.

"Dog owners must take responsibility for managing and controlling their animals so that other people and pets are protected."

The range of penalties for dog attacks:

  • Attack causing bodily harm to person or animal - $5692
  • Attack causing death or grievous bodily harm to an animal - $11,385
  • Attack causing death or grievous bodily harm to a person - $34,155.

INITIAL REPORT: A WOMAN has been hospitalised and her pet dog killed after a neighbour's dog attacked this morning.

Vicki Afflick said she was getting out of her car at her home at Pheasant Street, Minyama this morning when a neighbour's dog, which she described as an American staffie, pushed its head through a hole in the fence and grabbed her 4-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, named Toby.

Speaking from Caloundra Hospital, Ms Afflick said when she tried to free Toby from his attacker, the staffie grabbed hold of her hands, tearing open her fingers.

As soon as she pulled her hands free, the staffie grabbed Toby again and dragged him through the hole, taking him into the neighbour's backyard and killing him.

"He meant everything to me," Ms Afflick said. "He was a beautiful dog.

"This thing next door is five times the size of him. Toby was just yelping and crying (during the attack).

"He just didn't stand a chance."

Ms Afflick said she wanted the staffie put down.

Police and Sunshine Coast council were called to the scene, with rangers seizing the dog and launching an investigation into the attack.

The dog remains in the council's custody while it investigates the incident.

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