Dog complaints

To make a complaint please contact Council Customer Liaison Team:

During office hours - call the Council on 03 433 0300 and lodge your complaint with our Customer Liaison Team who will take details of the complaint on behalf of Animal Management; or email

After hours - call 03 433 0300 (automated attendant); or email if the complaint is not urgent and can be followed up with on the following business day.

Animal Management will investigate your complaint and take appropriate action. If the dog can be identified as living at a particular property, an Animal Management Officer will visit the property. If the dog cannot be readily identified, patrols of the area will be done.

What we need from you

When making a complaint please provide as much information as possible. We will do our best to take action on the information you give us. This information may include:

  • The address the dog comes from
  • Exactly what the problem is
  • The time where/when the incident happened
  • Anything that might help identify the dog, eg breed, colour, sex
  • The owner's name
  • Whether you are prepared to make a statement or appear in court
  • If the dog(s) came from a vehicle, the registration number of that vehicle

We will request your name and contact number (your details will remain confidential) in case we need to phone you for more information and to tell you of the outcome of our involvement.

Barking Dogs

If you find yourself being affected by persistent barking or howling of a dog, there are a few steps you can take to remedy the problem. Please remember barking problems can take time to solve. We recommend you talk to the owner in the first instance. More often than not, dog owners appreciate being made aware that their dog is causing an issue. We may ask you to complete a Barking Analysis Sheet to help identify the nature of the problem.

Barking-Analysis-sheet.pdf(PDF, 134KB)

Wandering dogs

If you see a dog wandering dog, ring our Customer Liason Team who will pass on the details to Animal Management. Make sure you give as many details as possible – such as if the dog was aggressive, if it had a collar and tag, and which direction was it heading when you last saw it. All these details help Animal Management locate the dog a lot faster.

If possible, take a photo of the wandering dog, and either email to or bring into 20 Thames Street for our Animal Management team to view.

Dog Attack

If you or your pet are attacked by a dog it is important to report the incident as soon as possible so that we can locate the dog and ensure it is secured to prevent further attacks. Your complaint will be actioned within two hours. Information we will be looking for:

  • Were you or your pet bitten?
  • Do you have a medical report and/or receipt?
  • Any identification of the attacking dog or its owner
  • Vehicle registration (if applicable)
  • Were there any witnesses? Do you have their contact information?

It is important to report complaints at your earliest convenience, as it can often cause confusion when recalling detailed information such as times, dates, and people's recollections.

What usually happens to a dog that has attacked?

The outcome depends on the circumstances and severity of the injury. The dog may be classified as menacing or dangerous and remain with the owner who will have to meet requirements under the relevant dog classification. The dog must be de-sexed to lessen its aggressive tendencies. It may be seized and held in custody until safety concerns are met by the owner. The dog’s owner may be issued with an infringement notice or in more serious cases could be prosecuted, which could lead to the dog being euthanised under a Court order.