Glen Innes goes three years without a dog attack: state government stats

There have been no reported animal attacks in Glen Innes in three years, with the town one of the largest in NSW without a dog attack to March 31 this year.
There have been no reported animal attacks in Glen Innes in three years, with the town one of the largest in NSW without a dog attack to March 31 this year.

There have been no reported animal attacks in Glen Innes in three years, with the town one of the largest in NSW without a dog attack to March 31 this year.

In fact there hasn't been a dog attack in Glen Innes reported to the state government since 2016.

Statistics recently released by the office of local government show the last reported dog attacks in Glen Innes occurred at the end of 2016, with seven animals attacked in three reported incidents between October 1 and December 31 that year.

But that isn't the full story.

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Council director Graham Price said five dog attacks in the Glen Innes local government area over that period had not been recorded in the relevant register and were therefore missed in state government statistics.

And the apparent three year record has been recently broken, according to the director of development, planning and regulatory services.

Since March 2019 there have been a further five attacks which will show up in the next round of reporting, he said.

All attacks have now been registered in the Companion Animals Register and should flow through future reporting statistics, said Mr Price.

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In the same set of statistics Glen Innes pet owners prove relatively responsible, with nearly 7000 microchipped dogs in the LGA.

That's one microchipped dog for almost every resident - 6,776 pets as compared to around 8,900 human residents.

That's up by nearly 2000 since 2014, when there were 4,793 microchipped dogs in Glen Innes.

Local vet Hannah Pope said they saw a lot more dog attacks than the statistics suggest, which suggests some pet owners aren't reporting when their dog gets attacked. They've treated five dogs in the last week.

On the other hand, she thinks the statistics show most dog owners are following the rules.

"I think people are a bit more conscientious now," she said.

"It's very helpful when animals come in lost (at the vet surgery) that we can search for the owners and it's always nice to be able to send them back to their homes."

By contrast with Glen Innes' apparent perfect record, Moree had one of the highest rates of dog attacks in NSW, with 30 attacks, with 2 human victims of serious attacks, 15 people victims of less serious, and 34 animal victims of attacks.

There are just 7,788 microchipped dogs in Moree.

In Tamworth there were five dog attacks, in Armidale there were 3, in Inverell 12 and zero in Tenterfield.

Central Coast Council reported the worst record in the state, with 71 attacks with 40 human victims and 58 animal victims.

The state government regards a dog attack to be any incident where 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.

Dog owners can face fines of up to $1320 if their dog rushes at, attacks or harasses any person or animal.