Horrific dog attack prompts calls for tougher penalties
A COLLINGWOOD Park woman is calling for a review of responsible pet ownership laws following an alleged vicious attack on her poodle by another dog last week.
Trudie Fardwell spoke exclusively with the Queensland Times on Tuesday, reliving the horrific ordeal which left her pooch Parsley badly maimed.
She said the pair, along with her second dog named Boo, had been out walking about 6.30pm last Monday.
"A dog came running through a screen door [of a nearby property] which obviously hadn't been closed correctly, it came out and attacked Parsley," she said.
"A man came out of the house, grabbed the dog that was attacking us and dragged it back inside and closed both doors, the screen door and the front door."
Ms Fardell claimed the man offered her no assistance during the ordeal.
"I was bawling and yelling out for help, but no one came."
Parsley has since endured three emergency trips to the vet after sustaining a deep laceration to his right side.
"I didn't realise how bad his injuries were at first," Ms Fardell said.
"I think I was in shock and didn't see how big the gash was."
She estimated the cost of medical treatment would total about $2000.
The costs come as an added blow as she was forced to take multiple days off from her casual job to care for Parsley.
She said tougher vetting of prospective pet owners needed to be introduced - along with financial ramifications should their animal harm another.
"If the owner of the dog can be identified [post-attack], I think they should have to pay for all your vet costs and the time you're out of work."
Ms Fardell commended Ipswich City Council on their handling of the situation, with the animal seized by officers in less than 36 hours.
It is understood the dog will likely be returned to its owners following an investigation.
Dogs that are deemed dangerous will only be returned to owners under strict conditions outlined by The Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.
An Ipswich City Council spokesman said owners must comply with conditions or risk being issued hefty fines or a destruction notice for the dog.
Conditions for dogs deemed dangerous include mandatory desexing and microchipping, building an appropriate enclosure, higher registration fees, displaying warning signs, and special tags affixed to the dog.
The animal must also be muzzled in public.
"The owner is also subjected to having council officers inspect their property from time to time to check for compliance with these conditions," he said.
"They must also notify council of any change of address.
"It further provides offence provisions for persons who fail to ensure that their dog doesn't attack a person or animal."
There is no current provision under the State's Act regarding compensation to be paid by an offending dog owner.
"There may be other civil avenues for victim dog owners to recover the costs incurred due to their dog being attacked, but this process is independent of council and the Act," he said
The spokesman said Council would consider any proposed legislation changes through the normal review processes.
"As the Act is State legislation, it covers every local government area in Queensland.
"Questions on any current reviews of the Act should be made with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries who administer the Act."
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