'My dog has been attacked four times on the beach'
FED up pet owners have dubbed Hervey Bay's prolonged spate of beach attacks and killings by unleashed dogs as an 'epidemic'.
Terry Hill has unleashed his anger at disobedient dog owners who fail to control their pets after he and his Jack Russell Bella were attacked by a large dog along a stretch of beach between Pialba and Point Vernon.
It was the fourth time Mr Hill and Bella had encountered unrestrained and violent dogs and the same beach where a separate fatal dog attack in September shocked the community which led to the council to tighten its watch on pet owners.
It was the worst attack on Bella yet, she survived but was left bleeding and covered in teeth marks.
Due to frequently witnessing and becoming a victim to dog attacks, Mr Hill has been prompted to carry a stick with him on walks to defend himself.
Since July 1, the council has issued 77 animal management fines with 46 of those issued after September when council clamped down on dog laws.
Mr Hill told the Chronicle he wants to see muzzles forced upon dangerous dogs especially if they are off leash.
He said three-year-old Bella, a usually cheerful dog who relishes running about in the surf, has not herself in the aftermath.
She has become frightened and on edge, even randomly urinating herself - something out of character for her.
"The owners of the attacking dogs, they don't care - they're not the ones who have to pay vet bills," Mr Hill said.
"If something happened to her, I don't know what I'd do."
Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO Ken Diehm hinted at the possibility of harsher laws coming for irresponsible dog owners in 2019.
He said a planning review of animal management local laws will allow frustrated pet owners to voice their concerns.
The review will include existing dog leashed and off-leash areas, prohibited dog off-leash as well as fines in line with the growing community concern about roaming animals.
"Council Animal Management staff are actively monitoring the foreshore to issue fines and hand out responsible pet ownership education pamphlets," Mr Diehm said.
"In the end it comes down to pet owners. They are responsible for obeying the regulations, training and controlling their pets."
A list of off leash walking areas is available at frasercoast.qld.gov.au/dog-off-leash-areas.