Dog attacks

Whether you are a dog owner or someone in control of a dog, you are legally responsible for how your dog behaves. The City treats dog attacks very seriously.

What constitutes a dog attack

Under the WA Dog Act 1976 an attack is defined as:

  • Aggressively rushing at or harassing any person or animal
  • Biting, or otherwise causing physical injury to, a person or an animal
  • Tearing clothing on, or otherwise causing damage to the property of, the person attacked
  • Attempting to attack, or behaving in such a manner toward a person as would cause a reasonable person to fear physical injury.

It is important to note that a dog does not have to cause injury for a dog attack offence.

What to do if a dog attack happens

The City treats dog attacks very seriously and investigates all reports of a potential dog attack. If you or your dog are involved in a dog attack, seek appropriate medical or veterinary attention immediately, then contact the City’s Rangers on (08) 9205 8555 and inform them of the incident.

To assist with investigations, try to obtain the following information:

  • Description of the dog or dog owner
  • Dog owner and/or witness information
  • Photos of any injuries sustained as a result of the dog attack
  • Location, date and time of the incident
  • Medical and veterinary documentation should you or your pet require treatment
  • Vehicle registration of the dog owner (if available).

Penalties

The outcome of a dog attack can result in either infringements being issued or a court prosecution.

Where the attack causes physical injury, the person in control of the dog may incur penalties of up to $10,000. If the offence relates to a dangerous dog there may be penalties up to $20,000.

If no physical injury is caused, the person in control of the dog may incur penalties of up to $3,000 and up to $10,000 if the offence relates to a Dangerous Dog.

Preventing dog attacks

Whether you are a dog owner or someone in control of a dog, you are legally responsible for how your dog behaves. By effectively controlling your dog you can prevent it from attacking people and other animals. To prevent a dog attack, always:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Always keep your dog under effective control
  • Do not approach other dogs without the permission of the owner.

Did you know?

Where the attack causes physical injury, the person in control of the dog may incur penalties of up to $10,000.