Domestic Animal Management Plan

The Domestic Animal (Dogs and Cats) Management Plan (DAMP) is designed to balance differing community expectations.

We have one of the largest animal populations of any Victorian municipality, and currently has over 46,000 registered cats and dogs. With a substantial growth in population each year, this figure is expected to increase.

We have prepared a new Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAM Plan) which seeks to balance the needs of the community and at the same time manage the requirements of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 (DAA).

It places a significant focus on responsible pet ownership, and the expectations of the community in regards to the City’s compliance and regulatory presence.

Our municipality offers a great lifestyle, and has adopted the following principles which underpin actions regarding dogs and cats:

  • the belief that pets contribute to our quality of life.

  • a requirement to balance the needs of those who own pets and those who do not.

  • to value responsible pet ownership.

  • proactive animal management and education.

  • Ensuring the environment is protected from negative impacts of dogs and cats.

  • To work in partnership with others.

  • Play a leadership role in animal management.

Basic pet ownership responsibilities such as picking up after your dog and ensuring your cat is contained between sunset and sunrise protects the environment and ensures our pets are kept safe and healthy.

Registration and microchipping, controlling barking dogs and maintaining ‘effective control’ over your dog when out walking are all key responsibilities of pet ownership.

The plan also discusses the importance of pet owners having their pets desexed, which will help reduce unwanted litters of puppies and kittens placing pressure on our pound services.

All newly registered cats must to be desexed and microchipped.

Dogs in public places

Various dedicated 'off-leash supervised' areas have been declared, including some beach locations, reserves and most sporting grounds. A dedicated fenced dog park has been developed at Stead Park.

For the remainder of the municipality, owners are required to keep their dogs on-leash at all times.

Off-leash supervised areas

The following conditions must be followed when using the 'off-leash supervised' areas:
  • The handler must have a dog lead in their possession and place their dog back on the leash when leaving the off-leash area.

  • The handler must be able to demonstrate audible control of the dog.

  • Dogs must remain in visual and audible range of their handler.

  • When encountering other people or animals, the dog must be recalled and restrained until both parties have moved apart to a safe distance.

  • Dogs must not chase wildlife or enter inland water habitats.

  • Dogs attracted to the motion of wheels must be controlled at all times.

  • Dogs declared menacing/dangerous/restricted breed or are aggressive to other people or animals are not permitted to be walked off-leash.

Page last updated: Thursday, 21 November 2019