Owning a dog in the City of Whittlesea.
The city of Whittlesea requires all dogs to be securely confined to their property. This is also a legal requirement under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Visitors to your home must have safe access to your front door, without being stopped by your dog. Your front yard must have a closed gate, and an escape-proof fence that your dog cannot jump or get under. If your dog could get through your gates or fencing, you can be fined even if it doesn’t leave your property.
Council receives many reports of dog attacks on people and other animals. Most of these occur on or close to the offending dog's home property. Confining dogs to their property would prevent 80 per cent of dog attacks in public places.
Dog attacks should be reported immediately to the council ranger by calling 9217 2100. After-hours reports can be made by calling 9217 2170.
If your dog chases someone
If your dog rushes at or chases someone, you may need to pay a court imposed penalty and the council may declare your dog to be a ‘menacing dog’. This means you must microchip it and you may have to leash and muzzle it in public.
If you do not comply with these requirements, the council may then declare your dog to be a ‘dangerous dog’. There are very strict controls on the housing, exercise and ownership of dangerous dogs.
If your dog attacks a person or animal
You are legally responsible if your dog attacks a person or animal outside your property, or someone trying to get to your front door. You are also responsible if your dog attacks someone who has been invited onto your property.
You could be taken to court if your dog attacks someone. If convicted, you can face substantial fines. The court may also order your dog be destroyed or declare it dangerous. Strict ownership controls are imposed on dangerous dogs for the rest of their lives. You could also be legally required to build a containment compound to house your dog.
All dogs must be kept on a leash while outside their property, except in designated off leash areas.
Owners who fail to keep their dog on a lead in public places face an on-the-spot fine of $200 and may have to pay a court imposed penalty of up to $2000. The City of Whittlesea are currently trialling an off-leash area in the municipality for 12 months, located at:
(Melway 8, B4)
The off-leash area contains dog training, exercise and agility equipment, and is designed to give dogs physical exercise and mental stimulation to help prevent problem behaviours.
It also provides an opportunity for dog owners to get exercise, contribute to their own health and well-being and meet other dog owners.
For more information, go to the City of Whittlesea website and click on the Animals link on the left side of the homepage.