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Pet owners encouraged to manage barking dogs to keep the peace
Issued: 
May 30, 2024

Wellington Shire Council is urging pet owners to be aware of their dogs' barking to help maintain peace in the community.

Under Section 32 (2) of The Domestic Animals Act 1994, a dog or cat is considered a nuisance if its noise, such as barking or otherwise, significantly disrupts the peace or comfort of others or, if it injures or endangers the health of a person.

Often, dog owners may not realise their dog is barking excessively, especially if it happens when they are not home. While barking is natural for dogs, it's important for owners to prevent it from becoming excessive to avoid disturbing neighbours.

Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Cr Ian Bye emphasised that while dogs are valued members of the community, those that bark excessively can become a real source of frustration.

"Dogs may bark for various reasons, such as boredom or behavioural issues. It’s important for owners to identify the cause and address it to prevent disturbances” Cr Bye added.

Residents are encouraged to train their dogs, ensure they get enough exercise, provide them with toys and shelter, and seek veterinary advice if necessary.

“If excessive barking continue to affect neighbours, it's best to first try to resolve the matter directly with the dog owner. Usually, about 80% of these cases are resolved promptly after the initial contact.” Cr Bye said.

If the issue persists, individuals can file a complaint with Council. Upon receiving a complaint, CouncilOfficers will contact the complainant for details and request they fill out an Animal Nuisance Monitoring Sheet to document the disturbance. From there, Council will inform the dog owner of the complaint, provide educational materials on managing barking, and request action to mitigate the issue.

For more information and to access Council’s Barking Dog Complaint Form, please visit www.wellington.vic.gov.au/forms/barking-dog-complaint-form.

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