DUNGOG is warning dog owners to take responsibility after a spate of dog attacks in the shire so far this year.
The council said on Wednesday that it had recorded seven attacks in the past eight weeks that had led to two people going to hospital, veterinary surgery for one dog and another animal's death.
The council has issued several fines, including one of $1320 for the owner of that Dungog Shire Council described as "a particularly vicious attacking dog".
Dungog shire Council compliance officer Michelle said the rate of dog-related complaints had been unusually high.
"The recent increase in dog related complaints and incidents is disappointing, especially for pet owners in the shire who are doing the right thing," says Miss Crook.
"Keeping your dog secure when at home and under control at all times when in public is an important responsibility all dog owners share.
"We have also received reports of stray dogs roaming and many of them, as well as the dogs involved in the recent attacks, had out-of-date microchips and were not lifetime registered."
She said one incident involved a roaming dog hit by a car that was missing for over an hour while in need of veterinary treatment.
"If a dog is found wandering on the street with an out-of-date microchip or no microchip at all, the animal will be impounded immediately; however, animals that are microchipped can be returned to their owners or re-homed when appropriate, to live long and happy lives," she said.
The most recent Office of Local Government statistics, which span July to September last year, show two attacks in the Dungog local government area.
The same statistics reveal that some Hunter areas had the highest number of incidents across the state for the period.
Lake Macquarie and Central Coast Council shared the dubious honour, with 64 attacks each recorded in the three-month window. Wollongong came next with 50 incidents followed by Newcastle's tally of 37.
Lake Macquarie has regularly appeared at the top of the list in recent years.
A council spokeswoman in 2018 told the Newcastle Herald that rangers took a proactive approach given the area's population compared to many other parts of NSW translated to a larger number of dogs.
"The council encourages the public to report all dog attacks whether or not any injury was sustained," she said. "Approximately 5 per cent of recorded dog attacks are of a serious nature."
Cessnock recorded 15 dog attacks during the three-month period while there were 34 in Maitland, 14 in Midcoast Council's footprint, three at Muswellbrook, seven in Port Stephens and three at Singleton. Upper Hunter shire recorded no dog attacks during the same period.
Statewide figures show other dogs were most commonly the victim of dog attacks followed by adults. 36 people required hospital treatment after an attack, while 270 escaping injury entirely.
Most incidents involved one dog. American staffordshire terriers, bull terriers, German shepherds, cattle dogs and rottweilers were the five breeds most commonly involved in attacks.
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