Rules around barking dogsA dog is considered a ‘nuisance’ under the Dog Control Act 2000 if: “it creates a noise, by barking or otherwise that persistently occurs or continues to such an extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any premises or public place”.
If a dog persistently causes a nuisance, the owner may be liable for a hefty fine.
If a dog continues to be noisy
If a dog continues to be noisy, you may consider talking to the dog's owner or alternatively use a letter to owner barking template to inform the owner of their dog's behaviour.
In many instances, the dog’s owner is not aware that the noise their dog is creating may be causing a nuisance to somebody.
If you feel unsure or uncomfortable about speaking with the owner of the dog, you can make a general complaint to Council.
Making a general complaint
Phone Council on 03 6216 6800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a general complaint regarding a noisy dog.
We will contact the dog’s owner to advise them of the concerns and provide them with information on why dogs bark and the steps they can take to address this.
We will not respond to vexatious or anonymous complaints, as Council needs to be able to verify that the complaint is genuine. Council also cannot provide feedback to anonymous complainants.
If the situation persists and Council’s engagements with the owner fails to resolve the situation to your satisfaction, you will then be required to lodge a Formal Notice of Complaint.
Requirements for formal complaints
When required by Council, you will be sent a copy of the Formal Complaint documents.
You will need to document a detailed list of the dates, times and possible causes of the dog’s noise on the Record of Occurrences form. This is usually recorded over a fourteen (14) day period.
On the main Formal Complaint form, you will need to provide all required details including;
- your details,
- the address where the noisy dog is kept, and other details about the dog,
- the details of your complaint
When all documents are completed as required, please lodge them at Council’s Customer Service Centre, along with the prescribed Formal Complaint Fee.
Upon lodgement, Council’s Animal Management Officers will undertake a formal investigation into your complaint as soon as possible.
Should a noise nuisance be proven by Council at the end of the Formal Investigation, formal action may be taken against the dog owner. In which case, the owner must prevent the nuisance from reoccurring. Most complaints can be resolved shortly after this stage; however, a further investigation may be required if your complaint is unable to be resolved.
Ongoing matters may be referred to court – in which case you will be called on to provide evidence in court.