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Dog owners take fight to save Bruce to court

LEGAL BATTLE: Chris and Kev Thomas are taking their fight to save their dog to court.
LEGAL BATTLE: Chris and Kev Thomas are taking their fight to save their dog to court. David Nielsen

OWNERS of a declared dangerous dog are taking their fight to the courts to save the pet from being put down and have called for changes to the State Government's dangerous dog laws.

Ipswich City Council seized the Thomas family dog, Bruce, and issued a destruction notice late in August after it bit an Energex meter reader who had entered two gates and ignored four dangerous dog warning signs to read the meter in the backyard.

Energex has confirmed to The Queensland Times the property was logged in their system as having a dangerous dog on site but the owners were not given any notice of a meter reader having to access the backyard of their Denmark Hill home.

The Thomas family set up a Facebook page Save Bruce, which has attracted more than 6000 supporters.

On the latest post the family calls for changes to the dangerous dog laws to allow people to protect themselves and their property.

"We still struggle to believe that people want to kill Bruce when he has never bitten or attacked anyone or anything outside his yard," the Facebook post states.

"Bruce is our family pet and a great friend to us all. I supported the dangerous dog laws until I read them and that is when you realise it targets everyone.

"The law must change to allow people to protect themselves and their property."

SEIZED: Bruce has been impounded and faces being put down after an attack in August.
SEIZED: Bruce has been impounded and faces being put down after an attack in August. Contributed

"First and foremost Bruce is our pet," Mr Thomas said. "He is protective of us and of our property as any dog is.

"We are prepared to do whatever the council requires to get him back with us. But council is not interested. They're not listening, they don't care."

Mr Thomas said he had requested a meeting with his local councillor Andrew Antoniolli about the issues involved, but he "respectfully declined".

Cr Antoniolli is chairman of the council's Health and Regulation Committee, which is responsible for animal management issues.

He said the council was considering prosecution and a brief had been prepared.

"Yes I did respectfully decline (to meet with Mr Thomas)," Cr Antoniolli said. "Because he's been offered every opportunity and he has been afforded every assistance imaginable from council and continues to deny evidence against his family as the owners, continues to deny responsibility and continues to have a lack of empathy for the victim in this matter.

"The second victim here sadly is Bruce the dog who, through reckless negligence of the dog owner is now the subject of a destruction order."

Topics:  dangerous dogs, editors picks, ipswich city council



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