This is the letter I sent to the council: Proposed Regulated Dog Declaration Notice I refer to your notice dated 8 December 2011 stating your intention to declare my dog “Rosie” (PID 981000300571407) to be a menacing dog under Section 90 of the Animal Management Act 2008. This letter is my submission as to why such a declaration should not be issued. The sole grounds of the proposed declaration relates to an incident that occurred on 4 December 2011. The notice dated 8 December 2011 only briefly outlines the facts of that incident, and I think it may be helpful to outline my understanding of what occurred. If the complainant’s account of the incident differs in any material respect to mine, should you be still be considering declaring Rosie to be a menacing dog, I ask that I be provided with details of her account (and any other material upon which you rely). The incident in question: On 4 December 2011 at about 10:30 in the morning my husband and I were at home at 7 Connell Street working in our front garden. I was about 3 meters away from the front boundary of the footpath, with my husband a few metres back towards our house. I am aware that dogs are required to be kept inside one’s house property, and my dog Rosie is confined to the back yard (which is fenced off), but I noticed she had come through an unlatched door which had been accidentally left ajar, and was sitting on the front porch. I appreciate that she was not supposed to be there, and I was about to fetch her to take her back when I noticed a lady in the middle of the road pushing a pram with a toddler walking beside her and another young child approximately 7 years old about 6 metres ahead of her. The girl was running or skipping along, and she started to run diagonally across the road and was apparently intending to cross diagonally over the footpath outside my house. It would be speculation on my part as to why she was running/skipping at the speed and direction she was, but our neighbour has two small dogs who frequently are in his front garden, and children often are keen to see them. I turned around to get Rosie to take her back into the back yard, but Rosie had already started running past me in the general direction of the girI. Seeing Rosie run past, I immediately jumped up to grab her. Rosie had stopped about half way across the footpath (which is about 5 and a half metres in width) and emitted a low growl. As the young girl was considerably ahead of the woman, infant and toddler, Rosie was closest to the young girl, who was still standing on the road, a little less than a metre from the footpath. Rosie was about 4 metres away from the girl when she (Rosie) stopped and let out a growl. At about the time Rose had started to run out of my house property, the woman started shouting: my recollection was that she was shouting at the young girl to stop, the woman then ran up to the girl. At this stage a man in a car drove alongside the girl and the women, and said through his car window words to the effect of “Are you ok ……” (he mentioned a woman’s name but I can’t recall the name). The woman gave a quick reply but I didn’t catch what she said. The car driver then drove away. I had initially grabbed Rosie by her coat, and then took her by her collar to hold her properly. Although the child was not crying or otherwise visibly affected, the woman looked most upset. I apologised to the woman and said this kind of incident wouldn’t happen again. She didn’t reply (or respond to me in any way) and she and the three children continued walking down the middle of the street. This entire incident (from the time the young girl started running towards the boundary between our house and next door until the time the women and the children again moved on all happened within about 15 seconds. Relevant factors concerning the incident I understand that the Council has a duty to protect the interests of the public, and must promote responsible dog ownership. I however submit this most unfortunate incident does not warrant the dog to suffer the restrictions imposed on menacing dogs, never again to socialise freely with her friends in the off-the-lead parks. The incident occurred in unusual circumstances, which are unlikely to reoccur. The dog did not attack any person (or animal). The dog did not attempt to attack any person (or animal). The dog did run towards the young girl who was running towards our property, and then growl. This could be startling or disconcerting (particularly for a young child) but I do not think it would be accurate to say that someone would be put in fear by the dog’s actions. The young girl herself did not cry or appear to be visibly upset. Understandably, a mother is very protective of young children, and could react accordingly. The nearest the dog approached the young girl was about 4 metres, when it stopped of its own accord. I am not aware of any suggestion that the dog snarled, bared its fangs, or raised its hackles. I accept and profusely apologise for the fact that Rosie was outside our house property in an unleashed state. An infringement notice has already been issued for Rosie being unleashed. I can only say in part mitigation (not defence) that this was an unusual situation, and I did have her under physical control by grasping the dog quickly. My husband was also just a few metres away. General Background to the dog and me as its owner I have owned this dog since she was 3 months old. Her previous owner didn’t indicate that she had behavioural issues. In the time I have owned Rosie I consider she has socialised very well with both humans and other dogs. She has been seen by vets for the usual inoculations, etc. and not once during these interventions has she shown aggression or acted in a way which was menacing or frightening. I enclose a letter from Rosie’s usual vet concerning an extended period she observed Rosie. Prior to the incident, Rosie had already been desexed, microchipped and registered with the Toowoomba Regional Council. Whilst it is true that any breed of dog can be aggressive, Rosie’s breed (a cross between a Border Collie and an Australian Cattle dog) does not suggest any tendency for aggression. The literature I have seen also suggests that such breeds take well to structured training such as the kind that has already been organised for Rosie. Enclosed is a petition signed by people who know Rosie and know that they have not seen her aggressive or frightening in any way. The vast majority of these people are dog owners (or family members of dog owners), who have signed the petition knowing that they and their dogs interact with Rosie, and they are happy for that to continue. Two letters of support are also enclosed. I have owned dogs on and off for 25 years, and never had any suggestion that any of my dogs would be declared to be a regulated dog. I try to promote responsible pet ownership. Steps taken to reduce any future risk Even prior to the incident Rosie had already been booked to start dog obedience classes with Toowoomba Dog Obedience Club Inc. Dogs have natural instincts (including chasing, barking/growling etc.), and it is difficult to teach puppies effectively until they have some maturity. In late October 2011, after Rosie had turned 6 months, I rang up the Toowoomba Dog Obedience Club Inc. to book her in for training, but the classes are popular, they have a break over the Christmas holidays, and the earliest I could start Rosie was February 2012. I paid my registration fee in early November 2011, the receipt number for confirmation of payment for the dog obedience class is 354 and you are welcome to contact the club to confirm this. Following this very unfortunate incident, I have tried to minimise the risk (present with any dog) of having such kind of event to occur. I have sought the advice of a Toowoomba based Animal Behaviourist practice, Sue Bloom Dog Psychology. Ms Bloom is advising me on how to deal with the issues that occurred here. Since the 4 December incident, we have set up an enclosure at our house that meets the requirements of your 8 December 2011 notice. My husband and I are moving to different accommodation with effect from 13 January 2012, which will allow a larger but even more secure enclosure for Rosie. Closing remarks For all these reasons (including the facts of the incident in question, the general background to the dog, and the steps taken since the incident), I submit that that no menacing dog declaration notice should be issued. Should you require any further information or clarification of the matters set out here, do not hesitate to contact me.