Owner claims council is wrongly accusing his dogs
MATTHEW Tomkins is positive his dogs have been wrongly implicated in an attack on a person in Gracemere.
He said council had targeted his dogs based purely on description details on registration papers and had not investigated the September incident fully.
Rockhampton Regional Council delivered Mr Tomkins a proposal to declare his dogs Bindi and Chops (both bull-mastiff crosses), as "regulated dogs", citing an attack that occurred on September 17, 2014.
In that attack, a person suffered injuries to the face and leg.
Mr Tomkins said it simply was not possible that his dogs were the offenders.
"The dogs are confined; they've never been picked up in Gracemere before. Our animals are registered, they're always confined to the yard, they've never been picked up by the pound," he said.
"If I wasn't 100% certain then I would be more than happy for council to take the animals. We've got three young autistic children who we wouldn't want to subject to a dangerous dog. They're just not like that. They're never out, and there's no history of them roaming."
Mr Tomkins said he and his family were permanently in the house because their three children were home schooled and he had an array of medical conditions that prevented him from working.
He said the family's fence was also above the Queensland regulations for dogs over 8kg.
Mr Tomkins has since received a summons to court for "failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the animals do not attack or cause fear to someone else or another animal".
But he said council had not provided an exact time or location of the alleged attack, despite his claims to have requested the details repeatedly.
"They will tell us nothing," he said. "I'm more or less being taken to court over something I know nothing about.
"I've done the right thing and had them behind a large enclosure. We just don't know what is happening.
"Everyone has the right to information."
Unsure of what to do in the situation, Mr Tomkins contacted animal activist Lyn Laskus.
She said the problem was common with councils and would like to see DNA identification used in dog attacks across the nation.
"I'm fearful council is accessing people's registration details for animals that could possibly fit the description in regards to an attack," she said.
"Council refuse to give me any information and he is expected to appear in court ... there are enormous amounts of dogs that are roaming around Gracemere not registered; there are hundreds of dogs that fit the alleged description."
Rockhampton Regional Council has responded to Matthew Tomkins' claims this week through a statement.
"Because the victim, who cannot be identified, was so traumatised, there was a delay in identification of the dogs and Council was unable to commence the normal process of Dangerous Dog Regulation," the statement said.
"We have real concerns for the safety of the community and so we have taken the only other option available to us which is taking the matter to Court."