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Woman fights to get 'framed' family pet off death row

DEATH ROW: Kay Walker's dog has been classed as menacing, and now she lives with the real prospect of being destroyed.
DEATH ROW: Kay Walker's dog has been classed as menacing, and now she lives with the real prospect of being destroyed. Alasdair Young

BARKING dogs have been a source of neighbourhood animosity for hundreds of years - and getting the government involved only confuses things.

That is the opinion of Kay Walker, who has spent hundreds of dollars and even appeared before a QCAT tribunal to defend her pup's reputation, to no avail.

It all started with her reporting the neighbours' dog for what she alleged was menacing behaviour, which they countered with accusations of their own.

The allegations of her German Shepherd behaving aggressively led to it dog being classed as menacing by the Western Downs Regional Council.

An authorised local government officer can declare a dog to be dangerous or menacing if it there is a chance that it may attack or intimidate another person or animal.

This classification typically occurs after a complaint has been lodged, with some evidence - in this case, it was video evidence of Ms Walker's dog barking from inside her property.

Now she must be microchipped, wear an identification tag, be kept in an enclosure with a sign displayed, be desexed and remain muzzled in public for the rest of its life.

After spending $298 to have the decision reviewed, and the neighbour withdrawing the allegation of menacing behaviour, the WDRC refuse to drop the label of "menacing".

"Council has a duty of care to our community to take a strong stance on reports of aggressive and menacing dogs. We're doing this by working towards keeping our community safe and holding animal owners accountable for their responsibilities and actions," their media statement read.

"One of Council's recent enforcement actions, regarding the matter in question, was appealed to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The external review process undertaken by the independent tribunal ruled in favour of Council's decision to declare the applicant's dogs as menacing. 

"We'll continue to work hard to keep the community safe, and owners accountable, and take a zero tolerance approach to any dog attacks."

Ms Walker said she was afraid the next complaint would see her dog put down, unfairly.

"The Menacing Dog term is so broad - the whole thing is just rigged. There's no evidence, no proof. They didn't even know which dog was which," she said.

Topics:  barking, dalby


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