Law allows cats to attack dogs|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|11/25/04 at 16:01:57|richard_f|xx|0|81.153.207.211|http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,11487304%255E421,00.html

Law allows cats to attack dogs
November 25, 2004

BY the law of the genteel jungle of Sydney's inner west, it is cats that
come out on top.

While Bob the Dog faces criminal charges for chasing a cat, a feline that
attacked a smaller puppy got off scot-free.

As bitser Bob faced Balmain Local Court again yesterday, The Daily
Telegraph can reveal no action was taken to punish the puss that clawed
Claudia, a miniature pinscher.

Claudia's owner, Craig Kelly, wrote to Leichhardt Municipal Council
recently to inform them his dog had been injured by a cat in "an unprovoked
attack" on a public footpath in Turner St, Balmain.

"Our particular circumstances are of a more serious nature [than the allegations against Bob] because the uncontrolled cat physically injured
our dog, also causing considerable distress to us," Mr Kelly wrote.

While council threw the book at Bob, whose owner Drew Vukelic was charged
with three offences after Sharyn McQuire complained, Mr Kelly was told
pooches are not protected under the law.

"The Companion Animals Act does not allow for a cat attacking a dog to be
an offence - any action taken against the cat owner must be a civil
matter," council compliance manager Shane Simpson said.

Despite the trauma suffered by seven-year-old Claudia, who is still
adjusting to city life after moving from rural Leeton, Mr Kelly has no
plans to sue.

"[Claudia] being attacked by a cat is just one of the things that happens
in life and Bob chasing a cat is one of those things in life," Mr Kelly said.

"Rather than restrictions being placed on cats that might attack this dog,
I'd like to see council be more reasonable."

At court yesterday, Magistrate Susan Seagrave set a hearing date for the
case against Bob, which she deemed legally valid despite objection from
barrister Avni Djemal.

Mr Vukelic will defend one count of "dog not under effective control" and
two of "own dog that attacks".

Ms McQuire alleged her cat was unharmed but "lost a little fur" when Bob
ran at her gate from nearby Birchgrove Park on May 4, nipping her cat's
tail as it fled.

Neighbours including champion swimmer Dawn Fraser have rallied to Bob the
Dog's defence, with resident Mary Avnich collecting more than 200 petition
signatures to "Save Bob the Dog".

Bumper stickers and posters supporting Bob have also been plastered around
the suburb.

If he loses his case, Bob will be forced to wear a muzzle and will be
confined in a "child-proof enclosure".

"We are doing all this because otherwise Bob will have to go," co-owner
professor John Debenham said.

"If he is declared a dangerous dog he will have to be muzzled ... he
regularly plays with three-year-old children."

The Daily Telegraph

|| Re: Law allows cats to attack dogs|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|11/25/04 at 16:02:39|richard_f|xx|0|81.153.207.211|I frigging hate domestic cats.||