Redland councillor and resident seek council action on loose dogs

A THORNLANDS man attacked by loose dogs has complained about a lack of appropriate council action, prompting Cr Paul Golle to say that he is furious with the lack of compliance by residents.

DOG TROUBLE: Thornlands resident with Ralf. Mr Beale wants a better effort from council in policing people who leave dogs to run.

DOG TROUBLE: Thornlands resident with Ralf. Mr Beale wants a better effort from council in policing people who leave dogs to run.

Cr Golle said he also was disappointed with the level of policing from council officers and wanted council chief executive Andrew Chesterman to take up the issue.

He said council needed to mount a better push or review on compliance.

“I need answers from the CEO as well because council doesn’t seem to act,” he said.

Cr Golle said recalcitrant owners knew that council staff did not patrol at times when loose dogs were prevalent.

“This is the third savage attack in the area incorporating Thornlands and Cleveland, culminating in serious injuries,” he said.

School children also have been harassed by loose dogs on North Stradbroke Island in the past week and a beach fisherman had a close call last month.

Resident Ray Beale said he was walking his dog on a lead on Buenavista Avenue, Thornlands, about 5.30pm when his dog was attacked by two staffordshire terriers.

”I was trying to rescue him... I was sure I was going to lose my dog,” Mr Beale said. “Then all of a sudden another staffie from the same address started to attack me.”

Mr Beale said the attack ended only when boys called the dogs back. It was reported to council on April 5 and council officers were initially quick to act.

Reports, including those from a doctor and veterinarian, were made to council by April 11 but he did not hear from council about an outcome until April 28 when he was told that the dog that had bitten him had been declared a dangerous animal and been removed.

Mr Beale said it was wrong that the other dog had not also been declared dangerous. “Are they saying it’s ok for a loose dog to attack another dog on a leash?” he said.

Mr Beale was bitten on the hands, arms and legs and his dog needed stitches. His vet bill was $610 and his medical bill $700.

“People have said to me ‘what would have been the outcome if it had been a 10-year-old child walking the dog?’,” he said.

“I can assure this is not going to go away.”

Mr Beale said he often saw dogs loose in parks and Crystal Waters Wetlands and the timing of policing – like after work– was important.

The Redland City Bulletin asked if Mr Chesterman would take up the issue.

A spokesman responded that council undertook proactive dog patrols throughout the city and compliance measures to ensure its animal related local laws and state legislation were followed.

“These laws are there for the protection and equity of all residents,” he said. “...Council acknowledges that dog attacks are a serious concern, and all  incidents are treated with the highest priority. 

Often dog attacks are complex and emotive issues. Officers follow an objective decision-making process to ensure legal and evidentiary obligations were met.

A total of 22 dog off-leash areas and a further nine areas not fenced were spread across Redlands for owners to exercise their dogs.

Cr Golle said he had used newsletters and media to remind owners yet residents still ignored laws.

He said he had taken the issue up with other councillors.