Wellington Shire Council is reminding dog owners to ensure their pet behaves responsibly, after it received reports of wildlife being chased and harassed.
Recent storm and flood events have seen kangaroos, koalas, wombats and other wildlife move to dryer locations,including areas closer to coastal towns.
Coastal community members have contacted Council to report that native animals are being harassed by domestic dogs.
Poor management of domestic animals can have a significant impact on animal welfare and the environment.
When outside of an owner’s property, dogs are required to be in the effective control of their owner. If a dog owner cannot maintain effective control of their dog, the dog must be placed on a leash.
In addition, some Wellington Shire areas, including Foreshore Lions Park Playground in Loch Sport, are designated as Dog On-Lead Areas.
Increased patrols of coastal settlements by Council officers are planned. Penalties of up to $7,240 apply to dog owners whose dog harasses wildlife.
More information on responsible dog ownership can be found at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/livestock-and-animals/animal-welfare-victoria/dogs.