MORE people were attacked by dogs in Lake Macquarie than in any other Hunter council area over the same period, the latest figures show.
The Office of Local Government has released dog attack incidents for the first quarter of the financial year, detailing the number of incidents reported.
Lake Macquarie had the highest number of people attacked statewide with 64, while also ‘boasting’ the highest number of people involved in less serious attacks (no medical treatment required), with 56.
Coffs Harbour had the most serious attacks overall with 10, while Wollongong and Lake Macquarie both recorded eight to rank equal second for most incidents.
The figures for Lake Macquarie, which also has the third-highest number of dogs in the state at nearly 80,000, also easily bypass Newcastle’s tally of 24 attacks over the same period.
A dog attack is classed as “any incident where a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin)”.
It does not indicate an injury was sustained.
A council spokeswoman said Lake Macquarie City Council takes a proactive approach to dealing with dangerous, menacing and nuisance dogs.
She said the council area's higher human population compared to many parts of NSW also translated to a larger number of dogs.
In Newcastle the figures show 14 people were attacked in 24 incidents, with 17 attacks also involving other animals as victims.
The spokeswoman said rangers followed up all dog-related incidents with comprehensive investigations, and also worked with police to examine the circumstances around attacks.
“The council encourages the public to report all dog attacks whether or not any injury was sustained,” she said. “Approximately 5 per cent of recorded dog attacks are of a serious nature.”
Port Stephens had 17 incidents, with five people involved in serious ones and four in less serious incidents. 20 animals were attacked in the coastal district.
Maitland reported 25 incidents, two serious, while Cessnock’s tally reached 11, with five serious attacks against people.