In the event of a dog attack, your first priority is to seek medical or veterinary treatment.
Once it is safe to do so, observe and collect as many details as possible. All dog attack incidents must be reported to the relevant council as soon as possible. Time is a critical factor, especially if the offending dog is wandering, posing further risk to the public and/or other animals. If possible, have the following information to give council investigators:
If council is unavailable, consider calling the Police for emergency assistance.
It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase a person, another animal or a bird owned by a person. The person responsible for the dog is considered the person who has control of the dog, or lives where the dog is kept, at the time of the offence.
Find out more from the Dog and Cat Management Act, 1995.
Restrain your dog if it’s safe to do so. You have a duty of care to others, so check on the welfare of anyone else involved in the incident and support them where possible.
Councils may investigate dog harassments and attack incidents. Be ready to cooperate.
Council investigators may take statements and photographs of any evidence, including injuries, from any involved parties or witnesses.
Depending on the severity of the attack, councils can:
Claims for damages (this can also include veterinary care) are addressed as a civil matter. Councils are unable to facilitate any compensation to victims.
Dogs bite for many reasons. Reduce the risk by: