Harassment is defined as a dog troubling or annoying a person without being the primary cause of physical injury i.e. the dog may chase a person or animal but not bite them. Attack is defined as a dog acting with force or harmfully resulting in physical injury such as bruising, puncture wounds or laceration.
If you or your dog is attacked by another dog, once you are safe, try to get as many details as you can about the dog. Note the colour, size, breed, markings and collar colour of the dog and take a photo if safe. If possible, note the registration disc number and council registered at, the owner’s details and any witnesses. Council will also require the date, time and location of the harassment or attack. It is important to report the attack as soon as possible.
In the case of a serious attack where you or your dog has been injured, it is important that medical or veterinary assistance is sought as soon as possible.
Councils can investigate dog harassments and attacks and impose penalties and controls on the dog owner as appropriate. The more information you can provide the Council, the more likely it is that they will be able to identify the owner and the dog involved. Council may request copies of any medical assistance required as a result of the attack.
Council Officers may require a statement from you and or any witnesses.
Claims for damages are addressed as a civil matter. Councils are unable to facilitate any compensation to the victims.
What should I do if my dog harasses or attacks a person or an owned animal?
Under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, as the owner of, or person responsible for the dog you are liable if your dog harasses, attacks or chases a person or an animal or bird owned or in the charge of another person. There are exceptions to the offence.
If you are present at the incident, restrain your dog. You have a duty of care of others, so check their welfare and support them to access the services they require.
If you wish to report or discuss a dog harassment or attack please contact the Councils Ranger Services on 8366 4200.