A man or woman’s best friend is a dog.
Or so they say.
Most of us own a dog or have had a dog at some point in our lives.
They can lower our blood pressure and give us years of pleasure.
Some people treat them like their children.
However, if you own a dog, you have to be a responsible owner.
You make sure to feed them, give them water and a nice cosy bed but the responsibility does not stop there.
You have to have consideration for the other members of the community.
A community that is made up of men, women and children, the weak, sick and infirm.
How many times have you been out on your daily stroll and spied a dog which causes you some concern due to is demeanour or size?
If you are a healthy person and you fear what might happen, give a thought for the elderly or small kids, what must they be feeling.
What happens when your hairy child goes wild?
Who is liable?
If your dog bites a person or it is not under effective control it used to be the owner that copped the fine or went to court.
However, from October 1, 2001 the Companion Animals Act was amended.
The act was amended so it provides that if the owner is not present at the time of the offence and another person who is at least 16-years-old is in charge of the animal at that time, then that other person is guilty of the offence instead of the owner.
Some offences carry a $2200 fine and/or two years in prison, also a person who is convicted under section 16 of the act is permanently disqualified from owning a dog.
Section 16 relates to attacks by dangerous dogs in aggravated circumstances.
How would you feel if your dog was responsible for seriously injuring a child or even worse, killing someone?
The message is clear.
Love your dog, enjoy playing with it.
Bask in the benefits of ownership, but just remember your life could be turned upside down in a nanno second if you become complacent.
That’s all the excitement for this week.
As always, in case of an emergency call 000. In non-emergencies call the Policelink on 131 444 or your local police station. To provide anonymous information call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000. For domestic and family violence information, visit www.police.nsw.gov.au. For Shoalhaven Domestic Violence officers call 4421 9666 or 4421 9665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget, cops are tops.