Dealing with nuisance dogs and cats
If you believe that there is a nuisance dog or cat in your area, the first thing you should do is to try and talk to the owner of the animal. By discussing your concerns it provides an opportunity to resolve the issue before it escalates.
If there's no change in the animal's behaviour, you can contact the Community Justice Centre. They will arrange for a mediator to assist you and the owner of the dog or cat with a resolution you are both happy with. This is a free service to the public and has a 95% success rate.
If the other options have not worked, you can contact Council on 1300 722 542. Council officers will investigate the concerns and determine whether the dog or cat is in fact a nuisance and act accordingly.
Council may issue a Nuisance Order under the Companion Animals Act. However, the authorised Council officer must have sufficient evidence of the nuisance behaviour to take this action.
If the nuisance behaviour is intermittent or principally occurs outside of standard hours, it may be difficult for Council's officers to substantiate the nuisance to enable a Nuisance Order to be issued.
In these cases, the affected person should consider taking action by seeking a noise abatement order under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 through the local court.
Failure to comply with a Nuisance Dog or Cat Order may result in penalties being issued if there is a breach of the Order.
Nuisance dog criteria
A dog is deemed to be a nuisance if it:
- Is consistently and regularly escaping the confines of the property where it is usually kept and roams on public land unattended
- Makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises
- Repeatedly defecates on property (other than a public place) outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept
- Repeatedly runs at or chases any person, animal (other than vermin) or vehicle
- Endangers the health of any person or animal (other than vermin)
- Repeatedly cause substantial damage to anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept
Nuisance cat criteria
A cat is deemed to be a nuisance if it:
- Repeatedly makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises
- Repeatedly damages anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept