Responsible pet ownership
Our Local Laws team can help with tips on responsible pet ownership, along with what to do with injured wildlife and how to control pests.
A dog of any size or breed can become aggressive when defending its territory. Even a friendly dog may guard the area on or around his/her property, especially when you are not present.
Most dog attacks in public places occur on the footpath or road bordering the attacking dog’s property. For this reason, it is important to make sure your dog is securely contained.
Council’s Local Laws team takes reported dog attacks very seriously and responds immediately.
Exercising your dog
Throughout Mansfield Shire, dogs must be kept on a leash in public, except in the following designated leash-free areas:
- Mansfield Botanic Park
- The Island, Jamieson
Dogs that bark excessively can be a source of irritation for neighbours.
Talking to your neighbours or leaving a friendly letter in their mailbox is the first step to attempting to solve any issues. Often dog owners may not be aware their dog barks.
There are a number of reasons a dog may bark, including boredom, medical reasons, fear or seeking attention.
Some possible solutions may include increasing your dog’s walks and outings, using a designated off-leash area for your dog to run and undertaking dog training.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 it is an offence for an owner to allow their dog to be a nuisance, where it interferes with a neighbour’s peace and comfort.
If you are unable to resolve the matter with your neighbour, Council can help. The Local Laws team will need a completed barking dog form or a letter that outlines the problem, including the neighbour’s address, and when the problem occurs.
Council will send the dog owner, and the complainant, a letter acknowledging the report. The dog owner will be sent tips that might assist, and the owner is given 14 days to address the issue or contact Council. If after 14 days, the dog is still an issue, the person who made the initial complaint will need to keep a barking dog diary, which will be followed up by Local Law officers.
Trespassing and nuisance cats
Cats allowed to roam outdoors, especially at night can cause accidents, get into fights and even catch diseases.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 cats are not allowed to trespass on other people’s property.
It is recommended cat owners consider purchasing or constructing a cat enclosure to ensure their cat is contained to their property. Keeping your cat in at night is another way to prevent it from roaming – as is desexing your cat.
To assist residents with feral, nuisance or trespassing cats, Council provides a humane cat trap hire service. Cat traps can be hired from Customer Service.
RSPCA and Council’s Local Laws Officers often work in collaboration when investigating reports of animal cruelty.
If you have concerns for an animal’s welfare, call the RSPCA on 03 9224 2222 or report the matter to Council.
Livestock on Roads
Wandering stock on roads is a risk to motorists, the public and the animals themselves.
It is the responsibility of the land owner and/or animal owner to ensure livestock is adequately contained to its property.
It is an offence for a person to allow livestock to wander or to fail to adequately confine livestock to a property. If you see livestock at large on a road managed by VicRoads call 131170 to report the incident. If livestock are on roads managed by Council call 5775 8555 to report the incident.
Council’s Local Laws team are authorised under the Impounding of Livestock Act to impound livestock found wandering.
Movement of stock or grazing along Council roads requires a grazing permit. Movement of stock across or along a VicRoads managed roads requires a permit from VicRoads.
Council’s Local Law Officers are not authorised or trained to handle wildlife. If you find injured wildlife, please call the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on 136 186 for advice, or call Wildlife Victoria on 03 8400 7300.
In the warmer summer months, snakes become more active. It is crucial that we are careful to safeguard our pets and family from snake bites.
If you see a snake on your property do not try to catch or kill it. Most snakes in Victoria are venomous and will strike if provoked. Walk away from the snake slowly and keep an eye on it from a safe distance (several metres away).
Keep your pets and family safely away from it and call the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) on 136 186, or Council who will provide the names and details of your local snake catchers.
If the snake is inside the house, close the door of the room it is in and place a towel under the door before calling DELWP.
Bees and wasps on private property
Council does not provide a bee and wasp removal service but may be able to provide some contacts to assist you.
Bees on Council land or nature strips
To report a swarm of bees on Council land or a nature strip, please contact Customer Service.