A dog attack is defined as a dog rushing at, attacking, biting, harassing or chasing any person or animal. Attacks do not have to result in an injury to a person or animal to be classified as an attack.

Owners may be liable for injuries caused by their dog.

Report the attack to police

You should report the attack, regardless of where it occurred.

Report the attack to Council

If you are the victim of an attack or witness an attack. If the attack occurs outside of Council business hours, contact your local police station.

Owner responsibilities

Dog owners must ensure their dogs are contained by proper fencing.

Dogs must be on a lead  in public spaces at all times, unless in a designated dog off-leash area. Dogs must also be under effective control in an off-leash area. Dogs can only be walked by a person over 16 years of age.


Harsh penalties may be imposed after a dog attack, including a declaration that the dog is dangerous, menacing or a restricted breed.

Council officers have the power to seize animals who have attacked a person or animal under the Companion Animals Act 1998.