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Dogs that are straying, damaging property, chasing people or other animals, endangering the health of people or other animals

Your local council will have an established procedure for investigating, and taking action against, an owner whose dog is allowed to cause a nuisance by:

  • routinely roaming; or
  • repeatedly defecating on private property, other than the property on which it is ordinarily kept; or
  • running at or chasing a person, animal (other than vermin or in the course of droving, tending, working or protecting livestock) or vehicle; or
  • endangering the health of a person or animal (other than vermin or in the course of droving, tending, working or protecting livestock); or
  • repeatedly causing substantial damage to anything outside the property on which it is normally kept.

Your council may require more than one complaint to progress an investigation. Talk to neighbours to see if they share your concerns. If they do, encourage them to write to council too. Having multiple complaints enables your council to make a stronger case for taking action and ensures that it has the appropriate standard of evidence to prove a case in court, if required.

Your council may ask you to keep a log of:

  • when the dog is straying onto your property; and/or
  • when it is damaging or otherwise interfering with your property; and/or
  • when it is chasing people or other animals; and/or
  • when it is endangering the health of people or other animals.

If your local council identifies a serious or on-going problem, it may issue a nuisance order requiring the owner to prevent the problem specified in the order. If the problem persists, the council may issue penalty notices for first and repeat offences, with the amount of the fine increasing for the second offence.

The maximum penalty for failure to comply with a nuisance order issued in relation to a dog is $880 for a first offence and $1,650 for a second or subsequent offence.

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