Dog on lead

Animal 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.

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.

On

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 owned by them 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
  • The owner may not hear the barking from various areas within the house
  • The owner may be a very sound sleeper and not be woken when the dog barks

How 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.

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. Contact the council officer to let them know if the situation has improved or not. In many cases, this is all that is required to solve the problem.

Report a problem

Ongoing issues

If the barking does not stop after Council has contacted the owner, you may be asked to fill out a victim noise nuisance statement to enable council officers to take the matter further. This statement must be signed and witnessed by a person authorised to witness affidavits.

If the dog owner denies there is a nuisance being caused, the investigating officer will require further evidence. This may include contacting other neighbours affected by the noise and having noise diaries filled out or further statements taken.

Once this statement is received the investigating council officer has a range of tools at his or her disposal to address the issue. This may include:

  • Issuing barking diaries to the complainant to ascertain and monitor the level of nuisance caused
  • Issuing a notice to comply to the dog owner to eliminate the nuisance within seven days
  • Issuing an infringement notice against the owner.
  • Legal action against the dog owner in the Magistrates Court and seek a court order

The investigating officer will contact you and discuss these options with you, however in order for any kind of enforcement action to be taken against the owner, a minimum standard of evidence must be obtained and you must be prepared to give evidence in court, should it be required.

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
  • The dog was participating in an authorised hunt (conducted in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986)

How to report a dog attack

If you are the victim of a dog attack, contact Council Customer Service immediately.

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.

Report a problem

Other animal complaints

Animal odours complaints

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.

To lodge a complaint contact Council Customer Service or fill in an online report form for a local law officer to investigate