THE number of dog attacks in Bathurst has hit a four-year high, new data shows.
There were 11 dog attacks recorded with five people and 12 animals injured during a three-month period in Bathurst, data from the Office of Local Government (OLG) shows.
The quarterly data records the number of dog attacks on people and other animals, with the most recent data from July to September, 2016.
By comparison, there were four dog attacks (with four animals injured) in the same quarter in 2015 in Bathurst. In 2014, there were five attacks (11 animals injured) and in 2013 there were eight attacks (three people and nine animals injured).
Recent dog attacks in the Bathurst local government area include one on June 9 where a dog entered a property at Walang killing two sheep and leave three others with extensive injuries that required euthanasia.
The attacking dog was identified, and following an investigation by Bathurst Regional Council, the owner voluntarily has the dog euthanaised.
In July, 2016 an elderly woman was mauled by two dogs while she was walking a cavoodle in Machattie Park. The attack left her in hospital and the dog she was walking fighting for its life.
While Bathurst has more dogs (19,872) than in Dubbo (19,802) and Orange (18,095), the city recorded far less attacks. During this reporting quarter, there were 23 dog attacks in Dubbo (with 12 people and 50 animals injured), while in Orange there were 33 attacks (28 people and 45 animals injured).
The number of dogs across each of the three council areas has risen dramatically in the past four years, with Bathurst numbers jumping by 4126 dogs (26.2 per cent).
There are an extra 4094 dogs in Dubbo (up 26.0 per cent) and increase of 3372 in Orange (up by 22.9 per cent).
Bathurst Veterinary Hospital’s Dr Ewald Jooste said training was vital in order to ensure you have control of your dog at all times.
However, where and who you buy your dog from also has an impact.
“Make sure you know what you’re buying. See what the breed is like and how they [the breeders] interact with the dog,” Dr Jooste said.
“Meet the parents [of the puppy] to see what the temperament of them is like.
“If there’s a problem there, that temperament might follow through to the puppies.”
The OLG data defines 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.