DUNGOG Council is warning dog owners to take responsibility after a spate of dog attacks in the shire so far this year.
The council said on Wednesday that it had recorded seven attacks in the past eight weeks that had led to two people going to hospital, veterinary surgery for one dog and another animal's death.
The council has issued several fines, including one of $1320 for the owner that Dungog Shire Council described as "a particularly vicious attacking dog".
Dungog shire Council compliance officer Michelle Crook said the rate of dog-related complaints had been unusually high.
"The recent increase in dog related complaints and incidents is disappointing, especially for pet owners in the shire who are doing the right thing," Miss Crook said.
"Keeping your dog secure when at home and under control at all times when in public is an important responsibility all dog owners share.
"We have also received reports of stray dogs roaming and many of them, as well as the dogs involved in the recent attacks, had out-of-date microchips and were not lifetime registered."
She said one incident involved a roaming dog hit by a car that was missing for over an hour while in need of veterinary treatment.
"If a dog is found wandering on the street with an out-of-date microchip or no microchip at all, the animal will be impounded immediately; however, animals that are microchipped can be returned to their owners or re-homed when appropriate, to live long and happy lives," she said.
The most recent Office of Local Government statistics, which span July to September last year, show two attacks in the Dungog local government area.
The same statistics reveal that some Hunter areas had the highest number of incidents across the state for the period.
Lake Macquarie and Central Coast Council shared the dubious honour, with 64 attacks each recorded in the three-month window. Wollongong came next with 50 incidents followed by Newcastle's tally of 37.
Lake Macquarie has regularly appeared at the top of the list in recent years.