Nuisance and Dangerous Animals

Wandering Cats

What are your options for dealing with a wandering or trespassing cat when it enters your property?

  1. First you need to establish whether the cat has an owner or if it is a stray/ownerless cat. You might like to observe the cat and try to establish where it resides or make enquiries with your neighbours to help identify where the cat comes from. Owned cats are usually friendly. Stray cats that are ownerless tend to be timid and afraid of human interaction and are often unapproachable.
    Take care as when trapped cats can become aggressive.
     
  2. If you find the cat’s owner, you may:
    (a) Approach the cat’s owner and explain the problem. The owner may not be aware of the situation;
    (b) If the owner is unapproachable or you are not comfortable approaching them, try placing a “Dear Neighbour” letter into their letter box. A template can be downloaded below.
     
  3. Check out the below 'Guide to deterring cats from your yard & garden' for some helpful tips and tricks in dealing with wandering cats.
     
  4. If you cannot find the cat’s owner, you may:
    (a) For friendly cats - Try approaching the cat if its tame and secure the cat in a suitable box or cage and immediately notify Council on 03 5382 9777; 
    (b) For unfriendly cats - Loan a trap from Council to capture the cat and have it collected by a Community Safety officer.
     
  5. All impounded cats are scanned for a microchip in an attempt to identify and contact the owner.
Living with Snakes

It is important to treat all incidents of snakebite as potentially serious. If someone has been bitten, dial 000 immediately. 

Cases of a snakebite in urban Victoria are very rare - and the swift application of modern first aid techniques, followed by treatment in hospital, means that most bite victims survive these ordeals.

If you have a snake on your property that requires removal, please contact a licenced professional in the area.

Visit the DEECA (Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action) website here for more information and fact sheets on different reptile species.

Dog Attacks

An owner of a dog that rushes at, attacks, bites, or chases any person or other animal can be liable for any damage caused by the conduct of that dog. 

Please note, that if the dog attacked due to any of the following reasons, then action might not be able to be taken:

  • Dog was being teased, abused or assaulted
  • The attacked person was trespassing on the property where the dog was kept
  • Another animal was brought onto the premises where the dog was kept
  • The dog was defending its owner who was being attacked

Report a Dog Attack

If you are the victim of a dog attack, contact 000 if you are seriously injured and need assistance. Also call Council Customer Service immediately on (03) 5352 0200.

Please provide the following information:

  • Nature of the attack i.e. bite, menace, chase, rushed at you
  • Date and time of incident
  • Location of the incident
  • Is the dog still roaming 
  • If still roaming, the last known location of the dog
  • Description of the dog i.e. breed, size, colour
  • Where the dog lives, if known

A local laws officer will then investigate the report and advise the action to be taken.

Barking Dogs

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons and it is important to find out why and then try to resolve the issue in a friendly manner wherever possible. An owner must ensure that noise from animals they own does not "adversely affect" the comfort, convenience, privacy or health of another person, however, the following points need to be considered:

  • The dog's owner may not realise that the barking is causing an annoyance to other people
  • The dog may only bark excessively when the owner is not home so they may not even know it is happening
  • The owner may not hear the barking from various areas within their house
  • The owner may be a very sound sleeper and not be woken when the dog barks

The Domestic Animals Act 1994 states that a dog or cat is to be regarded as a nuisance for the purposes of this section — "if it creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, which persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises". 

Report a Barking Dog

To report a barking dog you can lodge a report with Council's Customer Service, you must know where the dog lives and you must provide your personnel details. These details will never be passed on to the dog owner without your consent. 

A Council Officer will then contact the owner of the dog and let them know a complaint has been received about their dog and discuss ways of addressing the alleged issue. 

We ask that you monitor the barking for a few more days to give the owner an opportunity to put some of the suggestions into practice. In many cases, this is all that is required to solve the problem. The investigating officer will then contact you again after 7 days to ascertain if the situation has improved or not.

Complaints

If you have a complaint about a neighbours pet, in the first instance, try talking to the owner directly. If this doesn't resolve the issue, you can contact Council to lodge a complaint. You must know the address where the dog lives before contacting Council.

You can do this by logging a customer request here, or calling (03) 5355 0200 during business hours. 

A Council Officer will then contact the owner of the pet and let them know a complaint has been received and discuss ways of addressing the alleged issue.

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