Some people think it is normal for dogs to bark consistently. It isn't. Barking dogs are a nuisance and are not conducive to good neighbourly relations. Constant barking usually means the dog is bored, lonely, frustrated or ill.
Dog owners must ensure their dogs do not annoy neighbours by barking excessively. It’s one of the duties of being a responsible pet owner.
This guide outlines why a dog might bark, how to address a barking dog and the steps to follow if you wish to seek assistance from Council. Alternatively, you can download this information by saving the barking dog kit (PDF 336 KB).
If you would like more information, have questions or would like a print version of the request form, please contact Animal Management Services:
A dog is thought of as a member of the family and can bring endless joy to their human owners. With statistics showing an increase in reported dog attacks in Victoria, there is a need for much stronger responsible dog ownership.
Any size or breed of dog can attack or show aggressive behaviour. The majority of attacks take place in parks or public places. For this reason, it is a requirement to always have your dog on leash unless in a designated off leash area. Owners must have effective control of their dog at all times.
Effective control means it will return to its owner upon command, the owner retains a clear and unobstructed view of the dog, and that it does not bother, attack, worry or interfere with other people or animals.
Animal Management Officers patrol parks and open spaces to ensure compliance with dog being under effective control.
City of Port Phillip Animal Management team takes every reported dog attack seriously. We encourage anyone who has been involved in an attack to report it immediately to Council by calling (03) 9209 6777.
An Animal Management Officer will ask for the following details:
- the time and date of the incident
- what injuries were sustained (a medical report)
- photos of the wound
- a written, signed statement
- any witness details
- a description of the person in control of the dog at the time of the incident
- a description of the dog.
The Domestic Animals Act 1994 has different laws for declared dangerous, declared menacing and restricted breed dogs.
Dogs can only be declared dangerous if their owner is proven guilty of a serious dog attack by a Magistrate, the dog is trained to attack, or they dog is used as a professional guard dog. Dangerous dog requirements must be met when walking the dog outside its premises and while housed.
Dogs can be declared menacing by Council if a minor dog attack can be proven in accordance with the Domestic Animal Act 1994. Restriction can be put on the owners of menacing dogs, such as the dog must be walked on leash and muzzled while off private property.
There are 5 breeds that are restricted in Victoria. They are not dogs that have necessarily attacked or displayed any signs of aggression. They are of certain breeds that have been deemed a high risk to the community.
It is an offence to keep a restricted breed dog in Victoria unless you comply in accordance with the Domestic Animal Act 1994.
The Government provides Council with a standard that assists Council Officers in identifying a restricted breed.
Cats can be loyal companions to humans. However, The City of Port Phillip understands cats are adventurous animals that can roam far distances from their property. Roaming cats in our neighbourhood are a huge concern to the community. Cats can prey on wildlife, get hit by cars, be attacked by other cats and spread disease.
If an unwanted cat is coming onto your property, Council can provide residents with a cat trap. Humane traps can be hired to residents free of charge for up to two weeks at a time. Animal Management Officers will inspect your property to determine if your property is suitable to set a trap.
Another problem is people feeding stray cats but not taking full ownership or responsibility for them. People feed stray cats because they genuinely care about them and feel sorry for them. However, many people don’t realise they are causing a bigger problem by feeding, but not owning (eg desexing and identifying), these cats.
Feeding stray cats helps contribute to ongoing reproduction leading to litters of kittens being born each year which can result in a life of disease and neglect. This contributes to the tragic cat overpopulation problem in Australia.
If you want to help, you must either take ownership of the cat, or call Council. Please don’t feed the bigger problem.
For more information, see Agriculture Victoria - Cats
Swooping birds may be a frightening or even dangerous experience...
Native birds swoop in urban and rural areas, in parks and gardens, along bike tracks and in school yards, or anywhere the birds are nesting. By understanding why native birds swoop and how to avoid them, breeding season may be less stressful for people.
Swooping birds are the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture Victoria, which encourages Victorians to add swooping locations to its interactive Magpie Map. Further information can also be found on their site, including resources such as helmet stickers and brochures on swooping birds.
Note: It is most important that any public safety concerns or incidents regarding swooping birds are reported promptly to Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and council so that a site assessment may be undertaken and remedial action considered.
Use Online Services to ask us a question, request information or give us feedback online. If you prefer call ASSIST on (03) 9209 6777 and ask for Animal Management.