Dog attacks & prevention
The Dog Act 1976 interprets an “attack” to be:
- Aggressively rushing at or harassing any person or animal or
- Biting, or otherwise causing physical injury to, a person or animal or
- Tearing clothing on, or otherwise causing damage to the property of, the person attacked or
- Attempting to attack, or behaving in such a manner toward a person as would cause a reasonable person to fear injury.
How to prevent your dog attacking people and animals
As a dog owner, you are legally responsible for how your dog behaves. By managing your dog correctly, you can prevent it from attacking people and animals:
- Never allow your dog to wander unsupervised
- Install secure fencing and regularly check it
- When out keep your dog on a leash.
When in any public place in Western Australia, your dog must be tethered or on a leash unless the place is a designated dog exercise area. You may exercise your dog off the leash in designated dog exercise areas, however, as an owner you are still fully responsible for the control and behaviour of your dog.
Keep your dog and family safe. Allowing your dog to wander puts its health at risk and can even endanger yours. Every year hundreds of pets are shot, poisoned and impounded for attacking people and livestock. Other roaming dogs die from snake bite or traffic accidents. Those that do return often bring back diseases that could be passed on to their owner’s family or other pets.
Be a responsible dog owner. Dogs need more than food and water; they have to be trained, controlled, vaccinated, registered and exercised.
View the dog attack - owner information sheet(PDF, 2MB).
Fines & penalties
As a dog owner you can be fined up to $10,000, or even be charged with manslaughter, if your dog attacks.
What to do if I am attacked?
A dog attack is traumatic for both the victim and the dog owner but most can be avoided if dog owners properly manage their pets.
If you, or someone you observe, are threatened or attacked by dogs, call 9267 9267. If serious or life threatening injuries are sustained call 000 or seek the required medical attention.
What does the City do when a dog attack report is received?
- Make sure that the dog is no longer a threat to the community and that the victim is now safe
- Make contact with the victim or any witnesses to gather all available evidence
- Make contact with the dog owner (if known) and try to mediate an outcome for all parties concerned.
Court action may be taken at the City’s discretion depending on the circumstances of the attack which may include severity of injuries, quality of evidence and consideration of the animals history.
View the dog attack - victim information sheet(PDF, 135KB).