Owning a dog can be a rewarding experience but it is also a serious responsibility.
Irresponsible dog ownership leads to a number of common community problems and can have serious consequences for both the owner and animal. The first step in responsible ownership is seriously considering if the dog you are choosing as a pet suits your lifestyle and the area in which you live. Don’t forget that Council and your neighbours may also become involved if the dog is constantly barking, escaping your property; or attacking other dogs, stock or people.
If you have decided to purchase a particular dog then remember it must be registered with the Council. Council provides a free take home service to dogs found wandering at large that are registered with the Council. If your dog is not registered it will end up in the pound and you will need to pay pound fees to have the animal realeased to you. You may also receive a significant fine having an unregistered animal. Council regularly conducts registration checks in townships.
Download the 2019-2020 Domestic Animal Registration Form
****UPDATE **** Pet greyhounds are now muzzle free
All pet greyhounds are now allowed to be muzzle free in public.
Prior to 1 January 2019, only greyhounds that had been assessed and awarded a green collar by the Greyhound Adoption Program could be muzzle free.
For their safety, greyhounds must still be leashed at all times in public.
Greyhounds make great pets. For more information visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/greyhounds
Do you have more than 2 dogs registered on your property?
If you have more than 2 dogs or 2 cats on your property, you may require a permit to keep them.
You can contact the Community Safety Team at Council on 5220 7111 to discuss this requirement.
General Tips for keeping your dog
To avoid your dog becoming a problem:
Always keep your dog in a secure yard or enclosure or on a leash when out in public. See our Dogs, fences and roaming - Fact Sheet
Register and microchip your dog so that if it gets out and is picked up by Council it can be safely returned home. Register your pet
Train your dog well to return when called and to stay at home.
Desex your dog. Undesexed dogs are a greater risk of aggression to people and other animals and unless you’re a breeder there is little reason to have an undesexed dog.. Desexing your pet - Fact Sheet
Socialise your dog with people and other animals. They’re less likely to be aggressive when placed in unusual situations.
Your neighbours can complain if your dog is often noisy or unreasonably disturbs the peace.
If you are concerned about a barking dog problem, it is a good idea to talk with your neighbour first as they may not be aware their dog is causing a problem. If noise persists, contact Councils Community Protection Officer to discuss the problem. The Community Protection Officer will provide the dog owner with advice on possible solutions. If the problem cannot be resolved, Council can prosecute and fine the dog owner.
Dogs that rush out at people or chase people can be declared as menacing under the Domestic Animals Act (1994).
A dog may be declared a menacing dog if:
(a) the dog has rushed at or chased a person more than three times; or
(b) the dog has been declared a menacing dog by another Council.
Please ensure dogs are confined to their property at all times and when walking, please ensure your dog is on a leash and adequately controlled.
Most people find it difficult to believe their family pet could attack or kill anything, and it is this disbelief which is often to blame for the lack of confinement that results in typical dog attacks.
In the majority of cases, livestock and other dogs are the victims of the attack. Attacks of this nature, particularly on livestock occur too frequently and are extremely cruel. Sheep that survive being mauled often need to be put down because their injuries are so severe.
Council and residents don’t want aggressive or dangerous dogs in the community. Consequently, even if the dog has no history of aggression, the standard outcome is for the attacking dog to be destroyed. Regardless of whether it is killed by another dog or put down for attacking another animal, the loss of a family pet can be traumatic for the whole family, particularly children.
In addition, the owner of a dog that has attacked may not only have their pet destroyed but also receive fines and have to pay compensation for veterinary costs and the loss of livestock.
To avoid the risk of having your pet destroyed as a consequence of injuring or killing somebody or something, always keep it securely contained on your property or on a leash when out walking.
Always assume your dog is capable of attacking people, livestock and other pets and keep you dog under control at all times.
If you are the victim of a dog attack, please contact Council on 5220 7111.