Owners of dogs that are unregistered and unrestrained in public could soon face massively increased fines under a proposed crackdown on the Gold Coast.
Council is looking at doubling some fines for pet owners not following the rules to at least $550 in a bid to reduce the escalating number of attacks on other animals and their owners.
Currently, a fine for an unregistered dog on the Gold Coast is $275, while owners are hit with a $137 fine if their animal is caught roaming around the city unleashed.
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Lifestyle Committee Chair Hermann Vorster said it’s about time dog owners took more responsibility for their actions.
“Council has had a gutful of animal owners doing the wrong thing,” Cr Vorster told myGC.
“They’re not only putting their animals at risk, but the community at large as well.
“We’re proposing to boost the fines for dogs that are wandering, but also dogs that are not under effective control.
“That could mean fines as high as $550 if your animal is doing the wrong thing.”
Cr Vorster said the biggest issue across the city at the moment is the number of people who are not registering their animals.
“This makes it super difficult to enforce the rules,” he said.
“Hopefully with deterrents like this, it will prompt people to register their animals because there are going to be fierce consequences if they don’t.
“Then, if their animals do the wrong thing, they will be hit again.”
Cr Vorster said it appears the current disciplinary action is not deterring pet owners from doing the wrong thing.
“I think every Gold Coaster is sickened when they see a child, elderly neighbour or animal injured as a consequence of irresponsible pet ownership,” he said.
“They want action and we need to send a powerful deterrent to people who do the wrong thing”.
The fine increase is currently only a proposal, with the timing of when it will be implemented subject to community consultation later this year.