More complaints about persistent dog barking are received by Animal Control Units than any other dog- related issue.
It is important to remember that some dog owners may not be aware that their dog is creating a problem as their dog tends to bark when they are not at home.
To that end, you may wish to talk to the dog owner first as they may be able to deal with the problem themselves. Indeed, you may find that they are already aware of the problem and are taking steps to rectify it. In all cases, please be patient and tolerant and remember that dogs should be respected as part of our families and community.
Many people – especially the elderly or infirm – own a dog for protection and/or companionship. For this reason, it is particularly important to understand the differences between a good watch dog and a nuisance barker.
If the issue is more serious – for example, you are aware of any dogs that are unregistered, aggressive, biting or roaming – it is important that you call Animal Control immediately.
So You Wish to Make a Complaint?
If you wish to make a complaint about a particular dog, report a problem dog or you have found or lost a dog, please call your local Animal Control Unit. Remember, the service is available 24hours, 7 days a week.
Please provide as many details as possible including a description of the dog, dog owner, dog’s address, and a detailed summary of the incident or issue.
If the incident is more serious, it is important that you call Animal Control immediately. Animal Control needs to know about dogs that are unregistered, biting or roaming.
Reporting a Barking Dog
Under the Dog Control Act 1996, a dog’s barking must be persistent and loud to be classified as a nuisance.
What is deemed excessive by one person may not be to another. If you are being disturbed or annoyed by the persistent and loud barking or howling of a dog, you should report the dog to your local Animal Control Unit. You can find their contact details here.
Upon receipt of your complaint you will be asked to keep a record noting the date, time and length of each barking incident. You will be expected to identify and establish whether the animal is distressed or simply being a nuisance. Armed with this information, Animal Control may:
- Send an officer onsite to assess the situation.
- Notify the owner that their dog has a complaint against it.
- Provide written feedback to the complainant.
If there is no improvement after Animal Control’s investigation, and a separate complaint is reported against the same dog, the Council will then take the necessary steps to try to resolve the problem.
Reporting an Aggressive Dog
If you have been threatened, or have witnessed a dog attack, or you are the owner of any dog (aggressive or otherwise) that has attacked, you should advise Animal Control of the occurrence immediately.
You will be asked for the following:
- Your name, address and telephone number
- The address of the dog you are reporting (if known)
- The date, time and location of the attack
- The details of the dog – breed, colour, sex etc.
- The details of the incident.
You will also be asked if you are prepared to make a formal statement.
If possible, the names and addresses of the dog owner and any witnesses should be obtained. If the dog owner leaves the incident without supplying these details, you should note their appearance and/or vehicle registration number.
It is important that the address of the offending dog is established in order for an Animal Control Officer to make contact with its owner.
If the owner is not present, the offending dog should be followed at a reasonable distance to obtain its home address. Under no circumstances should you chase, call or attempt to catch the animal.
All details, medical/veterinarian reports, photos of injuries and marked clothing from the attack should also be kept. This will be used as evidence to build a case against the owner.