MORE dogs are escaping from their homes and attacking other animals, according to reports from Central Victorian councils.
The number of attacks has prompted a renewed call for pet owners to secure their dogs.
A Kyneton resident whose two dogs killed six sheep and injured a number of others was recently fined and convicted.
He was ordered to pay $2500 in the Kyneton Magistrates’ Court as well as court costs and pound fees totalling $1250.
Macedon Ranges manager of community safety Anne-Louise Lindner said there were a growing number of attacks that could be avoided by better security measures.
“Lately we’ve had a number of dogs at large across the shire," she said. "We're asking all dog owners to double check their properties and make sure their animals can’t wander. Dog owners should check that their dogs cannot jump, get under or through gates and fences."
In the city of Greater Bendigo the number of dog attacks rose from 106 to 133 between the 2011 - 2012 financial year and 2012 – 2013 financial year.
Council's manager parking and animal control Neville Zimmer said all dog owners needed to ensure their pets were secured inside their property.
He said the number of reported dog attacks fluctuated.
“It's very hard to pinpoint why we have had an increase," he said.
"I don’t think it’s been a particularly major rise," he said. "From time to time this sort of stuff will happen."
Mr Zimmer said a number of attacks went unreported and the overall figure was most likely higher than the 133 listed in the last financial year.
He said the responsibility was with dog owners to ensure they have appropriate boundaries for their pets to avoid fines and protect the welfare of others.
"When an animal is attacked it’s not just a penalty for the dog being at large, it’s also the danger of injuries to another animal or person."
"We try and do as much awareness as we can and put information out there to let pet owners know the risks involved."
Basic fines in Victoria range from $72 up to $577 for pet owners that do not comply with domestic animal act legislation.
More serious matters can be taken before the court and the magistrate can hand down far higher penalties.
In Central Goldfields Shire a recent report detailed the need for long-term measures to reduce the growing number of dog attacks.
The Domestic Animal Management Plan for 2013 - 2016 found "our Shire has a problem with sheep attacks by registered domestic dogs".
It noted de-sexing, and greater education for pet owners, was the key to limiting the number of attacks.