Man shocked to receive a fine after his young puppy “licked” a baby at the dog beach.

Neil McMahon claims he was at an off-leash area with his seven-month-old English Staffordshire terrier, Maudie, when his puppy licked a baby’s chest which had been lying on a blanket.

McMahon said the mother then contacted police to allege the “dog has attacked my baby”.

Police arrived at the beach and questioned him and the child’s mother.

McMahon was then fined $238 for failing to maintain “effective control” of his animal.

Yahoo shares, on beaches dog owners are asked to keep pets on leash – except in the designated off leash areas, collect and dispose of droppings, and ensure dogs don’t disturb other people, animals and wildlife.

The council website also states dogs are allowed in off-leash areas if they are under “effective control” by their owner.

The website states that “effective control” means dogs “return to its owner on command” and does not “bother, attack, worry or interfere” with others.

The dog owner says the child was not physically harmed by its interaction with his dog but said there is a lot of room for interpretation on the “bother, worry or interfere” clause in the rules.

While he admits the baby’s mother was bothered by his dog’s behaviour, he suggests the council’s wording may need to be revisited.

I can understand the mum would be concerned to see a dog running toward her baby, you would not really know what was the intention and obviously some people really are scared of dogs. Was there really a need to call police? Especially on a puppy?

Do you think it was a fair fine?

Share your comments below


  • I would be cross about this if that was my baby!


  • Indeed. That mum could have just gone to a beach where dogs weren’t allowed. I can’t even imagine that she called the police for a lick!!


  • No I do not think that was a fair fine. If you do not want to be approached by a happy dog enjoying his day out at the beach then do not take your children to an off leash area. Simple. There are plenty of other beaches to take your children too where dogs arnt allowed. Common sense.


  • It’s people like this mother that result in the unecessary euthanasia of perfectly healthy well behaved dog. I am a dog lover but don’t like being licked by them, but I wouldn’t call the police if it happened. No one was hurt


  • It does seem over the top but it could have been worse.


  • I can understand the concern of the mum but, having said that, no harm was done so why call the police – I feel that the fine is unfair and unjust!


  • Think it makes a difference if you’re a dog owner and -lover yourself. Personally I’m not so keen on dogs and I don’t like them licking of my hands face or over that of my children.
    But no – the dog did no harm, I certainly wouldn’t have report it myself and find it ott that the police fined the dog owner.


  • It is not something that would bother me – but dog laws are dog laws and have to be obeyed. Some people do get scared by dogs and get concerned for their children. I am surprised that the police were called because of a puppy.


  • I can understand that the mother was bothered or worried by the behaviour but the puppy did no harm so shouldn’t have been reported.


  • I see where she is coming from, but, I wouldn’t even consider taking my baby to an off leash area because of the risk. She needs to rethink her own judgment.


  • I’m tired of dog owners who assume everyone loves dogs, and won’t control them even in areas where they should be on a leash. It’s entirely possible she called the police only after he refused to take her concern seriously.


  • As a dog owner and a Mum, I understand the Mums concern. I remember the early days and watched them both and stayed very close to keep them both safe/unharmed. But honestly, after realising the spirited dog was just saying “Hi”, I would’ve relaxed and calmly motioned the dog & owner away if I was uncomfortable. Nothing there to warrant police or council attention


  • $238? No way!! It was an off-leash area. He just licked the baby. I don’t find it fair at all.


  • If this happened on a dog beach, then surely anyone on that beach is going to anticipate that dogs will be running around off their leash. I think the fine was over the top.


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