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Dog attack numbers in Orange fall dramatically, but still more than one a week

August 8, 2022

Stock image.

By Peter Holmes

There were 54 dog attacks reported to Orange City Council in the 2021/22 financial year, down from 84 in the 2020/21 period, according to council documents.

The Office of Local Government (OLG) states that “a dog attack can include 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”.

Numbers in the Orange Local Government Area were down year-on-year in two of the three categories the council listed - Dog Attacks and Barking/Noise.

The number of reported attacks dropped by more than a third (36 percent), and the number of reports about dogs barking or making noise in the same period fell from 527 to 484 (eight percent).

The number of Strays in Orange rose three percent year on year, from 370 to 381.

Given the number of incidents in all categories that were likely unreported, it is impossible to know the true figures.

According to the OLG there were 11 “dog attack incidents” reported in Orange from January 1 to March 31 this year (there were four in Bathurst and five in Dubbo in the same period).

Two were reported as “serious”. According to the OLG this means “a person was involved AND where the injury resulted in medical treatment, hospitalisation or death” (at the same time three in Dubbo and none in Bathurst were considered “serious”).

Seven in Orange were categorised in the quarter as “less serious”, where “a person was involved but no injury required medical treatment” (one in Bathurst, none in Dubbo in the same period).

A total number of nine people were attacked in Orange (one in Bathurst, three in Dubbo in the same period).

The total number of animals attacked in Orange in the three-month period was seven (there were five in Bathurst and three in Dubbo.

The OLG has not reported the latest figures for Orange, but Orange City Council papers show that:

  • There were five attacks in April 2022, with four animal victims, two human victims, three on private property and two in a public place;

  • There were four attacks in May 2022, with four animal victims, three on private property and one in a public place;

  • There were four attacks in June, with four animal victims, three human victims, four on private property.

The Orange LGA has 25,266 microchipped dogs; Bathurst has 30,731; and Dubbo 34,266. The OLG states that the number of dogs microchipped in an LGA may not reflect the total number of dogs residing in that LGA.

Records show that in May two dogs were surrendered to the Orange pound after being involved in attacks and were subsequently euthanised.

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