Pursuant to the Companion Animals Act, 1998, if a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal, the owner of the dog, or if the owner is not present at the time of the offence and another person who is of or above the age of 16 years is in charge of the dog at that time—that other person, is guilty of an offence.
If you have seen a dog attack a person or animal, or been attacked by a dog yourself, irrespective of whether the attack happened on public or on private property, you should report it immediately to your local council.
Council will take undertake an investigation into the reported dog attack. Council has the authority to impose harsh penalties and management requirements after a dog has attacked, including declarations that a dog is dangerous, menacing or a restricted breed.
Council also has the power under the Companion Animals Act to seize animals that have attacked a person or animal. Owners may also be liable through civil action for injury to a person or animal as a result of an attack by their dog.
More information on dog attacks