Dogs maul local police officer

AN off-duty police officer walking home was savaged by two Ridgeback dogs in School Lane on May 10.

The dogs’ owner, Chantelle Maree Saunders, faced the Emerald Magistrate’s Court last week on two charges of failing to ensure a dog does not attack or cause fear.

Ms Saunders, representing herself in court, pleaded guilty to the charges laid as Central Highlands Regional Council animal control officer Robert Maher detailed the offences.

Mr Maher said Ms Saunders “failed to take reasonable steps” to control her dogs, Cookie and Biscuit.

At 3pm on Tuesday, May 10, an Emerald police officer was walking home when a male and female pair of white ridgeback dogs approached and started growling, he told the court.

The male, Cookie, jumped on the officer’s chest and tried to bite his neck and throat.

He was bitten on the left hand.

Mr Maher said Cookie was so intent on the attack his whole body was off the ground. The female, Biscuit, then attacked the officer from behind.

He was treated for cuts and bruises at the Emerald Hospital following the attack.

Ms Saunders said her dogs had “never done that before” and the attack “just happened after the big dog” escaped the yard.

She told the court Biscuit and Cookie were destroyed following a council order.

Magistrate Cameron Press took into account the dogs had been destroyed and Ms Saunder’s guilty plea before he convicted and fined her $400 for each animal, with an order to pay the $75.90 destruction fee per dog.

The conviction was not recorded.

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