Dog owner to pay $9,200 after attack at Byron Bay

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A Gold Coast resident has been ordered to pay $9,200 after a dog attack in Byron Bay.

The incident happened in October 2019 when an 11-year-old Kelpie being walked by its owner was attacked by an American Staffordshire Terrier.

The terrier and its owner were from the Gold Coast and staying in a nearby house when the attack occurred.

Four people, including the terrier’s owner, eventually managed to stop a first attack, but not before it severely injured the kelpie, including breaking its leg.

The terrier then attacked again, continuing to menace the kelpie and its owner, who was carrying the injured animal.

The kelpie was taken to the vet but had to be euthanised about two weeks after the attack, partly due its injuries.

Legal Counsel, Ralph James, said Council declared the American Staffordshire Terrier a dangerous dog after the attack, while City of Gold Coast made the same declaration.

“This attack was in 2019 and it has taken a long time to get to court, mainly because of COVID-19,” Mr James said.

“Council is grateful to the Byron Shire community members who witnessed the attack, provided Council with evidence, and, prior to the defendant pleading guilty, were willing to attend Court to give their evidence at a hearing.

“The defendant’s guilty plea would likely not have been made without them,” Mr James said.

“The owner of the American Staffordshire Terrier has to pay $9,200 and this figure is comprised of vet bills and expenses for the owner of the dog that was attacked, and Council’s expenses in bringing this matter to court.

“The owner also received a 12-month conditional release order and now has a conviction recorded against them.

“This event was extremely traumatic for everyone involved and while it resulted in the death of one animal, it could have resulted in the serious injury of one or more of the people who were trying to save the dog,” Mr James said.

This week the terrier owner voluntarily surrendered the dog to City of Gold Coast to be put down.

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