Furious pet owners demand action over dog attacks
CAIRNS residents have reacted with outrage to a vicious dog-on-dog attack on a quiet suburban street that left a 74-year-old woman trying to fend off two aggressive animals.
Woree local Melody Forgan said she only walked her dogs with a digital video recorder strapped to her chest in an attempt to show Cairns Regional Council the extent of the escalating problem across the city.
The most recent attack, captured by Edge Hill resident Bec Bowen's security camera, shows a small Lhasa Apso getting mauled in front of the frightened elderly woman and a good Samaritan, whose heroics eventually saved the animal.
It comes as council revealed there had been 755 reported dog attacks this year.
Ms Forgan said the streets had become "a battlefield" for pet owners.
"After a year of being attacked regularly in Woree I've had enough," she said.
"I'm sick of paying rates and not being able to walk my dogs safely in the area. I have PTSD about some of the dog events I've seen. It's pathetic."
A council spokesman said they were investigating the attack on Russell Street on Tuesday which appears to have been caused by off-leash animals, which carries a $266 fine.
The injured dog "Thomas" is in a Manunda veterinary surgery where the medical bill is tipped to run close to $10,000. Owner Vivian Georgiou said it was time negligent dog owners were held accountable.
"It's concerning that owners think it's OK to let dogs roam freely in streets, where there could also be small children," she said.
Division 7 councillor Max O'Halloran said the incident was distressing and could have been avoided. "Dogs should be on a lead and there is a capital letter on that," he said. "Unfortunately we do get irresponsible owners that don't take enough care with their animals."
Council's acting manager for planning and environment, Peter Boyd, said there were 22 animal management and local law officers conducting patrols. They had also invested in advertising campaigns to encourage dog owners to secure pets and walk them on a leash.
"It is often the lack of a complaint, a delay in a complaint being made, or the lack of satisfactory information that limits Council's ability to investigate," he said.
"Dog attacks are 100 per cent preventable and dog owners are responsible for their pets' behaviour, both at home and out in the community."
Ms Forgan said council's efforts fell short because "the problem is getting worse".
"Why is council spending $600,000 on relocating bats when we have a much bigger safety problem with dogs," she said. "You only have to look at the reaction on social media after these attacks to see how fed-up the community is with a lack of action from our council."
Originally published as Furious pet owners demand action over dog attacks