Couple fined more than $11,000 for dog attack

A Sydney couple has been fined $8,000 and ordered to pay vet bills and legal costs of $3,334 after a fatal dog attack at Suffolk Park in December 2019.

Byron Shire Council welcomed the judgement in the matter that was heard at the Byron Bay Local Court this week.

Legal Counsel, Ralph James, said the judgement sends a strong message to people about the need to manage and control their dogs in public areas.

“This attack was horrific for the owners of a dachshund which was on a lead and set upon by an unrestrained American Staffordshire terrier on 29 December,” Mr James said

“The Staffordshire terrier bit the owner of the dachshund on the leg and then attacked the smaller dog, inflicting fatal wounds.

“It took two people to pull the Staffordshire terrier away from the dachshund with the owner in charge of the attacking dog at the time, later allegedly describing the incident as ‘no big deal’,” Mr James said.

“The Magistrate obviously thought it was a big deal, noting not only the seriousness of this attack but the fact that the owner of the dog showed no remorse or respect,” he said.

Only one month earlier, on 30 November 2019, the Staffordshire terrier had been involved in two separate attacks on dogs at Maroubra in Sydney.

The Staffordshire terrier was euthansed following the attack at Suffolk Park.

“The large amount of fines imposed on the defendants in this case is an indication of the seriousness of this attack and it should serve as a deterrent to people who make the decision to own a dangerous dog,” Mr James said.

“There is no place in the Byron Shire, or anywhere for that matter, for dangerous dogs and the message from the Magistrate is that people need to take responsibility for their pets,” he said.

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