Great Lakes Council is the local impounding authority under the Companion Animals Act 1998 and may impound dogs and cats under certain circumstances.
Complaints to Council about barking dogs are extremely common. Continual barking is very annoying for both neighbours and the dog's owners. If a dog is barking it may be for one of the following reasons:
- Needing exercise
- Wanting attention
- Suffering from separation anxiety
- Hunger or thirst
- It's too hot or cold (needs shelter)
- Needs veterinary attention.
If your dog is barking, consider the list above. Could they apply to your pet? If so, try the solutions below:
- Exercise your dog for at least 15 minutes a day.
- Give your dog some toys or chew bones.
- Provide plenty of food and water - Checked regularly.
- Make sure the dog has access to shelter from sun and rain.
- Play with your dog whenever possible.
- Regularly worm and treat your dog for ticks and fleas.
- Try an anti-barking collar (available from pet stores).
If all of these fail to stop your dog from barking, you may need to seek help from an animal behaviour specialist. Speak to your local vet for advice.
Pick up after your pet
Another thing that really annoys the public is animal faeces. It's messy, stinky and a major health hazard. Think of others and the environment and make sure you clean up after your pet. Failure to do so can cost you a substantial fine.
Dogs aren't the only pets to cause a nuisance. Cats can be responsible for attacking native wildlife, making too much noise or damaging property.
It’s a good idea for cat owners to buy a "bell collar" to reduce the risk of any attack on wildlife.
If a member of the public finds a cat involved in any of the above activities on their property, they have the right to seize the cat, but are bound by law to take proper care of the animal until it is either returned to its owner or delivered to the Council Pound.
Cats that roam or stray are not considered nuisance animals under the Companion Animals Act, and the public may not seize them or take them to the Pound.
If you have found a stray dog, contact Council on 02 6591 7222. Council will collect the animal if it has been restrained, and when Council staff are available. Your local vet is not authorised to accept these animals.
What happens when my pet is impounded?
If your animal is identifiable (microchipped, or has a tag with contact details) then Council will endeavour to contact you with notice that your animal has been impounded.
If the animal is identified by Council, it is required to remain in Council custody for a period of 14 days, unless recovered by the owner.
If Council cannot identify the animal, it will remain impounded for a minimum of 7 days to give the owner an opportunity to collect it.
Prior to any animal leaving the Pound, the prescribed fees including impounding, microchipping and registration (if applicable) will need to be paid.
Unfortunately, the animal may have be sold or destroyed if it is not claimed.
All enquiries regarding impounding should be directed to Council's Animal Control Officer on 02 6591 7222.
We are committed to animal welfare and the futures of the animals that we have to impound. When the owners of an animal cannot be traced, or the animal cannot be returned to them, we try our hardest to find the pet a new loving home.
If you are interested in adopting an animal, please keep an eye on our Council Facebook page. We will post details of particular animals from time to time and invite applications for adoption.
Fines for Nuisance Pets
Under the Companion Animals Regulation 1999, Council may issue an "on the spot" fine of up to $550 for nuisance animal behaviour. Offences include:
- The Animal is not permanently identified with a microchip
- Selling an animal without a microchip
- Interfering with a microchip identification
- Animal not registered
- Not notifying a change in registration/identification
- Give false/misleading information to Register
- Dog without collar and tags
- Dog not under effective control
- Greyhound/prescribed dog not muzzled
- Failure to remove dog faeces
- Failing to take seized animal to its owner or pound
Council may issue a nuisance order if a dog is repeatedly:-
- Habitually roaming the neighbourhood
- Making a noise through barking
- Defecating on other people's property
- Chasing a person, animal or vehicle
- Causing damage to property
The order requires the dog's owner to prevent the behaviours causing the problem, or face a fine of up to $880.