Insider reports state that a few councils were able to get less than 5% of impoundment and other fees from the dog owners through the Fines Victoria system and the courts.
Kris Bolam, the councilor of Frankston, has been trying to convince the state government to implement an animal ownership test for the entire Victoria, and the cost for the said project would be obtained from ratepayers.
“There is a cost that comes with sheltering animals and it’s a struggle to get those costs back,” he added.
Under the proposed changes, all citizens of Victoria are required to pass a test before they’re allowed to own a dog. He envisions that such efforts would be done through the MAV or Municipal Association of Victoria.
“But we have received no indication of support from the government to date. There has been no political will to seriously look at that option,” said Cr Bolam.
He also mentioned that owners who made the effort to have their dogs undergo formal obedience training should get a discount from said fees.
There has been an increased number of dog attacks in the suburbs. Last year, there were over 700 reported cases in Wyndham, Frankston, Brimbank, Port Phillip, and Casey council areas.
In Brimbank, over half of the dog attacks occurred in the streets, while the remaining cases occurred in homes and parks. The prosecution councils from Casey and Frankston also mentioned that the arm of a woman, who recently had undergone a breast cancer operation, was bitten by a dog that was being walked by his owner on a footpath in Cranbourne.
Another case that was reported involved two dogs that escaped from their home and dragged another canine ‘til he died. A group of people and some ponies were attacked by a pair of heelers as well. Council officers even discovered an illegal breeder and seller of pitbull puppies from her home in decaying and nasty conditions.
In Frankston alone, there was a massive increase in prosecutions, from 71 in 2018 to 125 in 2019.
Robert Donato, a plastic surgeon from Epworth, reported that he worked on at least one dog bite patient per month. Sometimes, there was even once every week.
“It seems to be happening more often and surgeons only see a small portion of the bites which are occurring,” he added.