Dog attack highlights issue of dogs not being controlled by owners

Tuesday 19 June 2012, 5:19PM
By Waitaki District Council


A dog attack on an elderly woman in Oamaru yesterday has highlighted the issue of owners needing to ensure their dogs are kept under control, which the Waitaki District Council has been focusing on in recent months.

The woman, in her eighties, was bitten by a dog as she was walking along Usk Street. She was taken to hospital following the attack to be treated for a bite to her right arm and a cut to her head.

Regulatory Services Manager, Steven May, said the dog has since been located by Council’s Dog Control Officer and signed over by the owner for destruction. Council has also contacted the victim to express their concern for her wellbeing following the attack.

“The owner will receive an infringement fine for not keeping her dog under control and has offered a letter to apology for the elderly victim. We are very concerned that this attack has occurred and are treating the matter very seriously. We will take whatever action is possible and appropriate under the law”.

Mr May said Council was aware of the potential threat of dangerous and uncontrolled dogs, which is why in recent months they had been visiting homes of owners of unregistered dogs and working with Police to identify those dogs that may be a risk to the public, and focusing on ensuring the Council’s Dog Control Bylaw was enforced.

“It is very disappointing that this incident has occurred. However, it also serves to highlight the fact that this is an on-going issue to be taken seriously and Council is on the right track in doing whatever it can within its power to ensure dogs are registered and properly controlled by their owners.”

Mr May wished to thank people who had come forward as witnesses. He said Council would continue in its efforts to ensure risk to the public from dangerous or uncontrolled dogs was minimised.