Council is required to meet a number of obligations relating to animal management under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Our Local Laws Department is responsible for the animal management functions of Wellington Shire Council. Our Local Laws staff actively promote responsible pet ownership and respond to requests received from the public to deal with domestic animal and livestock matters.
Each year, we manage around 3,000 Customer Action Requests from our residents which relate to animal control and management issues. Some of the animal related matters that we are called to attend to include:
- Complaints regarding barking dogs
- Stray and wandering dogs
- Cats and dogs which need to be returned to their owners or impounded at the Council pound
- Dog bite and dog rush incidents
- Dangerous, menacing and restricted breed dogs
- Neighbourly disputes regarding dogs and cats
- Breeding and boarding establishment (including Domestic Animal Businesses)
- Wandering cats
Council also manages a wide range of services relating to livestock. More information about livestock can be found on our Livestock page.
You may submit a Customer Action Request by completing the Request Form on our website, or alternatively by visiting or telephoning one of our Customer Service Centres.
Firstly, you need to try and establish if the cat is domestic (has an owner) or if it is a stray/ownerless cat.
Domestic cats (Usually are friendly)
- Try and establish where the cat is coming from. This can be done by observing the cat or talking to neighbours.
- Talk to the cat owner and explain the situation. The owner may not be aware that their cat is wandering away from their property. If you are uncomfortable talking with the cat owner or if they are unapproachable, try placing a polite letter in their letterbox advising that their cat has been observed trespassing and requesting that their cat is contained to their property.
- If the above steps do not resolve the situation or you are unable to find the cat owner you may try and secure the cat in a suitable box or carrier and deliver it to Council’s Pound or contact our Customer Service Team during office hours on 1300 366 244 and request a Local Laws Officer attend to collect the cat.
Stray/Ownerless Cats (Shy and timid around humans):
For stray or timid cats you may hire a cat trap from us by contacting our Customer Service Team on 1300 366 244. Cat traps require a $67.00 deposit (refunded when trap is returned in good condition).
In Victoria, the Domestic Animals Act 1994 defines Domestic Animal Businesses as any of the following:
- A Council pound
- A dog training establishment
- A pet shop
- An animal shelter
- An establishment boarding dogs or cats
- An establishment that is rearing dogs or cats
- A dog and/or cat breeding business - where there are three or more fertile females and animals are sold (whether a profit is made or not), and the proprietor is not a member of an Applicable Organisation. If the proprietor is a member of an Applicable Organisation, they are exempt from registering as a breeding Domestic Animal Business if they have less than 10 fertile female animals AND no more than 2 are not registered with an Applicable Organisation.
All domestic animal businesses operating in Wellington Shire must be registered annually and comply with the appropriate mandatory Code of Practice. This includes annual inspection of the facilities prior to registration each year.
Further information regarding Domestic Animal Businesses can be found on the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources website. If you would like to discuss registering as a domestic animal business, please contact our Local Laws Department on 1300 366 244.