HEPBURN Shire Council is investigating its own failure to act on warnings after a pair of dogs attacked people and injured other animals in Creswick over a two-year period.
The council has also moved to declare the two Staffordshire terriers as ‘menacing’ dogs, after they bailed up more pedestrians at the weekend.
A witness told The Courier the terriers menaced at least four people on Saturday, bailing them up on a pedestrian path, barking and encircling the victims in a “pack-dog” manner.
A nearby resident “Joan”, who did not want her full name published out of concern for her safety, said she heard a scream and barking before seeing the dogs circling a frightened woman. Later she saw the animals confronting a couple of walkers and then Hepburn Shire councillor Don Henderson.
Joan photographed the first two incidents and sent the images to the council – a process she has been following for two years since being attacked in her own front yard.
“They said to send the photos and we’ve done that every couple of weeks for the last couple of years and nothing’s happened,” she said.
Yesterday, mayor Bill McClenaghan said it appeared information sent to the council had not been recorded.
“We’re taking steps to find out why nothing’s happened up to this point in time,” he said.
Cr McClenaghan said the council was taking steps to declare the terriers menacing dogs to prevent them leaving their property line without a lead and muzzle.
Hepburn Shire Council has previously fined the owners for failing to contain the dogs and issued a new containment notice to the address a fortnight ago. One resident, who only wanted to be known as Liz, said she constantly complained to the council about the dogs, yet the animals continued to roam the streets.
“I’ve seen them as far as the primary school ... near the Doug Lindsay Reserve. I’ve seen them bail up tourists in the town,” she said.
Creswick bed and breakfast operator Margaret Giles also alerted council after the animals confronted her in March this year.
Hepburn Shire Council infrastructure general manager Bruce Lucas said it appeared the latest containment notice had been breached.
“They’re rushing at people and people are concerned or frightened about the dogs that are approaching them,” he said.
“I want to reinforce that council is taking it very seriously.”
He said the council staff had spoken to the animals’ owners on a number of occasions and would continue to work with them.