Complaints about animals

Information on the complaint process

Complaints About Animals

What constitutes a complaint about an animal in Mitchell?

Legislation in Victoria sets out what your rights and responsibilities as an animal owner are; the Domestic Animals Act 1996 for dogs and cats, the Impounding of Livestock Act 1996 for livestock, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 for all animals.

Under legislation there are many issues that can be dealt with by the Local Laws Department.

Complaints made to Council may be for dogs or livestock wandering, dog attacks, barking dogs or nuisance cats, just to name a few. Links below provide helpful information in dealing with these issues.

If you have concerns about keeping your pet or animal content so that it doesn't become a nuisance to neighbours, ensure that, secure confinement, socialising, mental and physical stimulation and good welfare practices are undertaken for dogs and cats.

More information is available on these topics on the responsible pet ownership page.

barking dogs

Dogs which bark excessively often become a major problem in our community. They become an intrusion and create conflict between neighbours.

Dogs bark for many reasons. These include:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Inadequate yard space
  • Boredom or lack of stimulation, both mental and physical
  • Not enough human companionship
  • Inadequate shelter from weather conditions
  • Hunger or thirst
  • Medical condition such as an illness or discomfort
  • Provocation
  • Disturbances
  • Changes to family structure/ separation anxiety that can lead to destructiveness, howling or escaping
  • Movement outside the dog’s property

What does the Law Say?

A dog is regarded as a nuisance if it creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, which 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.

A Dog Owner must not allow the dog to create a nuisance. If Council cannot resolve a barking dog problem, it will take the matter to Court and obtain a Court Order requiring the owner to resolve the problem.

First Steps

Where they are comfortable doing so, Council recommends that aggrieved neighbours directly approach the offending Dog Owner and request that they take action to control their dogs barking.

If the Issue can't be Resolved

Where a direct approach to a Dog Owner is unsuccessful or aggrieved neighbour does not feel comfortable in approaching the Dog Owner a complaint may be lodged with Council.

To lodge a complaint with Council you must be prepared to leave your contact details, including full name, address and phone number.

Council will then:

  • Contact the complainant to confirm details of the complaint
  • Familiarise itself with the circumstances of the alleged nuisance
  • Endeavour to identify the subject dog
  • Visit the property
  • Advise the Dog Owner of the complaint without naming the complainant.
  • Grant the Dog Owner 14 days to commence to resolve the alleged problem
  • Advise the Complainant of the action taken and confirm advice in writing, asking that if the problem is not resolved within 14 days to advise Council

Council has some information sheets outlying these processes, tips for dog owners and enforcement.

Download the Barking Dog Information Sheet for Dog Owners (PDF, 48K)

Download the Information Sheet for Aggrieved Neighbours  (PDF, 48K)

Download the Barking Dog Log Sheet (PDF, 50K)

The Every Day Law website also has information for owners and neighbours.

If you are having issues with barking dogs, either as an owner or a neighbour, please contact our Community Compliance Department on 03 5734 6200.

Wildlife Queries

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is the statutory authority with regard to wildlife e.g. kangaroos, emus, dingoes and possums. DELWP can be contacted on 136 186.

Help for Wildlife

Wildlife emergencies can be directed to Wildlife Rescuers on 0417 380 687 or Wildlife Victoria 1300 094 535.


  • Snakes - Issues regarding snakes should be directed to the DELWP as Council is unable to assist with snake removal. DELWP Customer Service line 136 186
  • European Wasps / Bees - Council cannot remove wasps/bees on private land. For nests on Council land, please contact Council on 03 5734 6200

Swooping Birds

Native birds fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

DELWP advises that the swooping season usually lasts for approximately 2 months from September to October each year and recommends people affected follow the tips available on their website.

You can also register locations on their online mapping page.

Council can assist with signage on council-owned structures, if required. Contact our Customer Service Department on (03) 5734 6200. 

File Downloads and Related Links
Link or File Info Format Size
Mitchell Shire forms, applications and information relating to animal complaints:
pdf 1719 Kb
pdf 204 Kb
pdf 58 Kb
pdf 49 Kb
pdf 51 Kb
Further information relating to animal complaints:
pdf 647 Kb
Mitchell Shire Local Laws information:
pdf 2680 Kb