WARRNAMBOOL dog owners have been put on notice after a dog was killed by two Staffordshire terriers.
Warrnambool City Council is investigating Friday’s attack to determine if the offending dogs should be declared menacing or dangerous dogs.
The injured dog was seen by a vet but had to be put down. Police and the council’s animal control officers were called to the Warrnambool property and impounded the attacking dogs, which were later released to their respective owners.
The council’s local laws manager Murray Murfett said it was an unfortunate incident which could have been avoided if the dogs had been confined to their owners’ properties.
“We strongly urge all pet owners to regularly check their backyards for any possible escape routes such as holes dug under fences, broken palings or faulty gate latches,” he said.
Dog owners were also reminded dogs must be walked on a leash unless in a signed off-leash area. Dogs can walk off leash in designated areas provided they obey voice commands.
Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic practice manager Jason Chuck said he could not comment on the incident because of client confidentiality.
“Speaking generally we want to re-enforce the message council has given,” he said. “We certainly do see cases of dogs attacking other dogs.”
Mr Chuck said normally passive dogs could behave unexpectantly when confronted with threatening behaviour.
“Placid dogs can become aggressive in stressful circumstances,” he said.
Last year, the state government cracked down on dangerous breeds after four-year-old Ayen Chol was mauled to death by a neighbour’s pit bull mastiff in Melbourne.
Owners of dangerous, menacing or restricted-breed dogs now face up to 10 years in jail if their pet kills a person.