Domestic Animal Management Plan City of Greater Geelong draft 2013 2017 table of contents


DANGEROUS, MENACING AND RESTRICTED BREED DOGS



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DANGEROUS, MENACING AND RESTRICTED BREED DOGS

Outline programs, services and strategies to effectively identify all dangerous dogs, menacing dogs and restricted breed dogs in that district and to ensure that those dogs are kept in compliance with the Act and regulations.



Current Situation


Council takes very seriously any reports of suspected Restricted Breed Dogs and inspect and investigates these promptly to eliminate the risk to the community. Council will continue to utilise all available legislation to control and manage restricted breeds and dangerous dogs within our municipality. As at December 2012 the following information was applicable:


  • Number of declared Dangerous Dogs/Guard Dogs registered – 26

  • Number of Dangerous Dogs - 19

  • Number of declared Menacing Dogs registered - 13

  • Number of Restricted Breed Dogs registered - 17

  • Number of compliance inspections conduced (Dangerous and Restricted) in the past 12 months - 75



Council Policies and Procedures


  • Work Instruction associated with the declaration of a Dangerous and Menacing Dog

  • Work Instruction associated with the declaration of a Restricted Breed Dog

  • Multi Animal Permit Work Instruction

  • Multi Animal Permit Work Instruction with investigating dog attacks and rushing dogs

  • Dog Incident Work Instruction associated with seizure and impounding of dangerous and restricted breed dogs

  • Council’s animal registration form requires all owners of dogs to sign a declaration stating that the dog’s breed has been correctly identified and if it is or is not a restricted breed dog. Registration can be refused if this declaration is not signed

  • All proposals to declare dogs to be menacing or dangerous are considered by Senior Council officers and declaration signed off by Manager

  • Council includes the steps in DPI’s flowchart for Restricted Breed Declaration and Process in conjunction with COGG’s Identification and Declaration Process form. These forms includes the approved breed standard for any dog that falls within the standard of pit bull terrier

  • A nominated Administration Officer enters details of all declared dogs on the Victorian Declared Dog Registry. This officer also updates the Victorian Dangerous Dog Register (VDDR) with details of declared dogs destroyed

  • The VDDR is audited annually to ensure the details of all declared dogs in COGG are up to date

  • All notices to comply, infringement notices and filing of charges for prosecution regarding dangerous, menacing and restricted breed dogs is undertaken in accordance with Council’s enforcement guidelines

  • Operational procedures including work instructions are available to guide Officers in the performance of their duties. These are listed on Council’s file storage system

  • Authorised Officers will attend VCAT hearings to hear appeals of declared dog owners when required

  • Dog Handling Procedure and associated Risk Assessment



Our Current Education/Promotion Activities


  • Provide residents with information on:

  • The types of declared dogs and how they are to be identified and kept in compliance with the Act and Regulations, including prescribed collars, signage at premises, housing requirements, muzzling, etc

  • How to report menacing dogs, dog bites

(See Registration and Identification Education/Promotion Activities section for methods of providing information to residents – Council website, mail outs, media articles, signage at parks, etc )

  • Ensure all owners of declared dogs are aware of their obligations under the Act regarding identification and keeping these dogs by providing them with relevant sections of the Act, brochures, fact sheets/develop information kit

  • Patrol industrial sites or building sites that may have guard dogs to promote legislative requirements

  • As required communicate with owners with dogs on the Victorian Declared Dog Register (VDDR) to provide them with information on requirements and changes, to improve compliance

  • Provide educational information on dangerous and menacing dogs/restricted breeds on Council website

  • Provide all owners of registered Declared Dog with information requirements and updates on any legislative changes, to improve compliance

  • Promote the Dangerous Dogs Hotline 1300 101 080



Our Current Compliance Activities


  • Ensure that Council has effective declaration policies and procedures to avoid declarations being overturned at VCAT (establish partnerships with other Councils that have success at VCAT for ideas and assistance). Ensure Council has specific declaration procedures for each of type of declaration:

  • dangerous dogs

  • menacing dogs

  • restricted breed dogs

  • Ensure all declared dogs are accurately registered on the Victorian Declared Dog Registry and that details regarding change of owner/change of address/death of dog are updated as soon as possible. Link is www.ddvic.registry-service.com

  • Ensure declared dog registration information on the Victorian Declared Dog Registry and Council’s registration database is the same

  • Conduct inspections of declared dogs annually to ensure they are identified and being kept in compliance with the Act and Regulations

  • Follow-up non-compliance issues until owner complies

  • Respond to complaints regarding menacing dogs/dangerous dogs within Council guidelines

  • Establish Council policies and procedures for non-compliance – infringements, prosecutions

  • Patrol industrial and commercial areas/non-residential premises after hours to check dangerous dogs guarding premises have been declared, are identified as required (collar of the kind prescribed), and are being kept in compliance with the Act and Regulations

  • Ensure all declared dogs are implanted with a microchip by scanning prior to renewal of registration

  • Examine registrations on Council database to identify and follow-up on suspected (non-declared) restricted breed dogs

  • Seize unregistered, suspected restricted breed dogs

  • Actively prosecute owners of restricted breed and declared dogs involved in serious dog attacks

  • Review all dog attack cases to determine if it is appropriate to declare a dog dangerous and commence the statutory declaration procedure

  • Maintain a register of all declared dangerous/menacing dogs and restricted breed dogs registered and housed in the municipality to ensure Officers are aware of these locations



Summary


Over the next four years, Council will work to ensure that all dangerous, menacing and restricted breed dogs are kept in a manner which is compliant with the Code of Practice.
To achieve this aim Council Officers will regularly conduct inspections to monitor compliance. Where breaches of the code are observed, enforcement will be swift. Council Officers will work actively within the community to detect breaches and investigate complaints, providing education and information to help ensure a safer community.

Our Plans


  • To continue to identify and register all Declared Dogs in the municipality

  • Inspect and audit all Declared Dog premises to ensure they adhering to the keeping requirements

  • Identify all suspected unregistered Restricted Breed Dogs and enforce the provisions of DAA


Objective 1: Identify and register all Declared Dogs in the municipality


Activity

When

Evaluation

Develop a policy regarding how and when to exercise the power of immediate destruction of a dangerous dog found at large

Year 1

Policy developed and adopted

Inspect all industrial properties in the municipality for dogs housed or kept for guarding purposes

Ongoing

Number of patrols conducted

Number of detected animals investigated



Educate the community about what is a declared dog

Year 1

Website updated

Media articles published

Promotional materials



Objective 2: Effectively inspect and audit all declared dog premises annually to ensure they are following the keeping requirements.


Activity

When

Evaluation

Undertake annual program of audits of all properties that house declared dangerous dogs and restricted breeds using inspection templates to ensure all requirements are in place

Annually

Documented evidence of inspections and Notices issued

Full compliance with all the legislative requirements



Undertake audits of all properties that house declared dangerous dogs and restricted breeds using inspection templates to ensure all requirements are in place

Annually

Documented evidence of inspections and Notices issued

Full compliance with all the legislative requirements




Objective 3: Identify all suspected unregistered Restricted Breed Dogs and enforce the provisions of DAA


Activity

When

Evaluation

Educate the community about what is a Restricted Breed Dog

Year 1

Website updated

Media articles published

Promotional materials


Encourage the reporting of suspected Restricted Breed dogs being housed in the COGG and promote reporting options available through website and educational material

Annually

Number of registered reports and investigations




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