Domestic animals

A pet bird resting on a perch

There's more than just cats and dogs that you can keep as pets. Birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, tortioses and chickens can all be part of your family when living in the Borough.

Below is a table showing the maximum number of animals of different species that you can keep in a residential area. If you'd like to keep any more, you'll need to apply for a permit.

Type of animal Max. allowed
Dog 2
Cat 2
Aviary bird 10
Guinea pig 2
Domestic rabbit 2
Domestic mouse/rat 2
Tortoise 2
Chickens 4

 

Securing your pet

It's important to make sure that your pet is under effective control at all times. There are a couple of measures we have in place to make sure that pets, owners and residents can stay safe at all times.

Cat curfew

All cats must be confined from sunset to sunrise to protect native wildlife and minimise public nuisance. As a cat owner, we encourage you to place bells on their animals' collars to deter them from hunting native wildlife.

If you have a cat wandering on your premises, you can hire a cat trap from Council. A security deposit fee of $50 applies, which is refunded when the trap is returned.

Securing your dog

As a dog owner, it's your responsibility to ensure that your dog is securely confined in its property at all times. Ideally, they should be confined in the backyard and not in the area of the front door, because dog owners are legally required to provide safe access to their front door.

Dogs in front yards should be under supervision and aren't to be left alone if there is no fence or gates are left open. Penalties apply.

Barking dogs

We receive many complaints in relation to barking dogs. The excessive noise can be frustrating for neighbours, but owners may be unaware of or lack the skills to correct the problem. Sometimes you can resolve the issue easily by approaching the dog's owner in a friendly manner and discussing your concerns with them.

Before you approach the dog owner, consider the following points:

  • 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 at home
  • 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.

The Animal Welfare Victoria website also has a detailed web page on recognising why a dog barks, and the strategies you can take as both an owner and a neighbour.

If multiple efforts of remediation have failed to work, you might choose to lodge a nuisance noise complaint with Council.

Lodging a noise complaint

To lodge a nuisance noise complaint, you'll need to:

  1. Identify the correct address of the offending dog
  2. Contact Council to receive an official Barking Dog Diary
  3. Keep a diary of the dog's barking habits for a period of two weeks – noting the date, time and duration of barking, and the reason (if known), as well as the effect the dog's barking is having on you
  4. Forward the diary and signed complaint form to Council.

You might like to continue to keep a diary of the dog's barking habits for a further month after you forward it to us. This will monitor whether the problem continues or improves as a result of any action taken.

Once we receive your letter of complaint and diary, Council will:

  1. Appoint an officer to investigate your complaint
  2. Study the diary for barking patterns that may reveal the reason for the dog's barking
  3. Identify whether other residents are being affected by the dog's barking
  4. Advise the dog owner of the complaint, discuss possible solutions and inform them of their responsibilities, the offences and penalties.

Council can issue any or all of the following:

  • A verbal warning to the dog owner
  • A written letter of warning
  • A Notice to Comply to abate all nuisance noise immediately.

Should the dog owner fail to comply with the Notice to Comply to abate the nuisance, we may issue an infringement notice against the owner. If the noise complaint persists after an infringement notice has been issued, Council may proceed with legal action against the dog owner in the Magistrates Court and seek a Court Order.

An infringement notice or legal proceeding will not be issued against the dog owner unless the complainant is prepared to give testimony in the Magistrates' Court. Where an order has been made by a Magistrates' Court, it must be complied with. Failure to do so is an offence and a magistrate may impose further penalties.

Example of a diary extract

Date Start time Finish time Reason (if known) Impact on you
15/03/2021 6:00am 6:15am Garbos emptying rubbish in street Baby started crying
15/03/2021 7:30am 7:50am Reason unknown  
15/03/2021 8:30am 8:40am Children leaving for school Child frightened