By Derek Schlennstedt
Yarra Ranges Council has revealed that so far for 2017 there have been 150 dog attacks in the Yarra Ranges municipality, which is down from 167 for the 2016 period.
Though, so far for the year, there have been 87 rushes reported in the Yarra Ranges, in comparison to 76 in 2016.
“Rush at” means the dog has approached a person within three metres in a menacing manner; this includes displaying aggressive behaviour such as snarling, growling and raising the hackles.
Council director of Corporate Services Troy Edwards said that many of the dogs, which were identified, were euthanised following the incident.
“Once the attack has been reported to council, it is council’s responsibility to investigate the matter,” he said.
“A number of dogs have been euthanised voluntarily by their owner this year as the result of an attack.”
On the Yarra Ranges Council website, it states that 97 per cent of prosecutions are for dog attacks on people or animals.
In September, a dog attack on sheep in The Patch saw 22 killed.
The owner, Peter Quinn, said Rangers who responded to the scene identified it as one of the worst they had seen in the Dandenong Ranges.
Mr Quinn said it was likely that the dogs were domesticated as they had not returned the following night, and in his 20 years of living there, he had never seen or heard of wild dogs.
“The rangers said it was one of the worst he had ever seen,” Mr Quinn said.
“Been here on 20 years – never seen anything like that … a lot of the property is bush, and I’ve never seen stray dogs here.”
In August, two dogs of Husky appearance were also reported loose in Cockatoo by police.
A police report on Cardinia Eyewatch stated that dogs entered a property on Boronia Crescent, where they then attacked a ‘victim’s goat before turning on the victim’.
Local veterinary clinics around the Yarra Ranges also share similar stories of livestock being attacked by dogs.
Ruth Elliot a dog behaviour specialist in Ferntree Gully said it was always the responsibliy of the owner to keep them in their own property.
“You have a legal responsibility to keep your dog on your property,” she said.
If anyone witnesses a dog attack, they are encouraged to contact the council on 300 368 333 or if necessary, the police on triple-zero.
Information that can help authorities identify an offending dog includes breed, hair colour, height and coat length.