Oct 2, 2008

Ridiculous Council Fine

G'day Dog Lovers,

Some local councils seem to be very 'anti-dog' and hand out fines to dog owners left, right and centre for the most minor of infringements. But in terms of the most cruel and ridiculous fines handed out to dog owners, the one below has to go close to taking the cake...

A couple of weeks ago, an Endeavour Hills woman by the name of Jeanine Paul was out walking her dog when she had an epileptic seizure. While she was powerless to do anything, her eight-year-old kelpie, Brooke, ran off down the street.

Ms Paul was shocked to later find out that Casey Council had fined her $165 for Brooke being off her leash. “It’s unjust and no one should have to put up with this kind of revenue raising,” she said. “I always have her on a leash and at home I’ve got a 1.8m fence. But this time there was nothing I could have done.”

Ms Paul said she was walking to her neighbour’s house when the seizure happened. The seizure lasted for about 30 seconds, and by the time her fit was over her dog had disappeared. “I went to the next-door neighbour very upset and called the pound in the morning” Ms Paul said.

The dog was picked up by council workers and taken to the pound.

Casey Cr Paul Richardson said he had serious concerns over the actions of the council to recover the fines. “This person has a permanent medical condition and cannot control her body movements and actions at times,” he said.

Casey Customer Service manager Rob Colling said the infringement notice for $165 for her dog wandering at large would be withdrawn on receipt of medical confirmation of her condition.

So...at the end of the day, Ms Paul will not have to pay a fine. But should she have even been fined in the first place?

This post is probably a good place to mention an organisation called Epilepsy Action - they're a non-profit group that provides education and support services to children and adults with epilepsy or other seizure disorders across Australia. Some 170,000 Australians like Ms Paul are living with epilepsy, and the organisation's vision is to let those people live confident lives. For more info about the work that Epilepsy Action does, log on to http://www.epilepsy.org.au/


Anonymous said...

That is utterly ridiculous! I'm so happy the council in my area isnt that way...they are very friendly and understanding....especially when it comes to neighbours complaining about my 'dangerous' breed of dog ...no doubt she got all the ideas about Staffy Bull Terriers being dangerous from the news always portraying them in a bad manner :(

Anonymous said...

Councils can make me so angry some times!!!! I'm glad she won't have to pay that fine but the fact that she actually got fined in the first place is a joke.

On another note...I read somewhere that there are dogs out there that can actually tell when a person is going to have a seizure - pretty amazing stuff :)