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Animal complaints

A local couple making a query with Customer Service

Dangerous dogs

To find out if a dog has been declared dangerous you contact council with the details of the dog in question. Local Laws officers can inspect the dog and refer to their registration database or access the Victorian Dangerous Dogs Register.

If an owner of a dangerous dog is failing to comply with its prescribed restrictions you can refer them to council for investigation. Heavy penalties can be applied for offences of attacking again, being at large and not being kept according to the law on confinement and management of such dogs. The dog can be seized by the council.

Found an animal?

If you find an animal and it does or does not have an identification tag with a phone number, you must contact Council as soon as possible. Council does not provide an animal collection service after hours however the details of the found animal will be noted and collection arranged for business hours.

It is against the law to keep any animal that you find. It is important to be cautious when approaching strange animals. A lost animal may be afraid and attack.

Mount Alexander Animal Welfare Inc. (MAAW)

MAAW Castlemaine is a not for profit animal welfare organisation providing high quality animal care and community education on animal welfare. MAAW finds lifelong homes for surrendered and homeless animals through careful rehoming programs.

The MAAW shelter is at 24 Langslow Street. The shelter phone number is (03) 5472 5277.

If your pet is taken to MAAW there is no charge for collecting the animal unless it has occurred on more than one occasion. It the animal is not registered it will need to be prior to reclaiming your pet.

If livestock ends up at MAAW a release fee is payable upon release of impounded animals. Impounded stock will be held for a period of eight days and unclaimed stock will be sold by tender.

MAAW also has an opportunity shop at 105 Barker Street, Castlemaine.

Animal neglect and cruelty

All reports of animal cruelty or neglect should be directed to the RSPCA Victoria, via their cruelty report hotline on (03) 9224 2222 or by following the link below. Please note, the Castlemaine MAAW is a pound and shelter only and does not handle any such complaints.

All reports of lost and found animals should be reported to Council's Local Laws Department by contacting our offices. In addition, any reports concerning lost animals can also be phoned through the MAAW animal care facility on (03) 5472 5277.

The RSPCA is Australia’s most well-known and trusted animal welfare organisation, with a long history of providing evidence-based animal welfare advice to the public. In 2018, RSPCA launched the Guide to Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy at Home. This is a free resource aimed at advising cat owners on how to provide for their cat’s welfare and also help protect native wildlife by keeping their cat contained to their home, with safe outdoor access (e.g. through a cat-enclosure).

Barking dogs

The Domestic Animals Act 1994 covers noise from dogs can be regarded as a nuisance if the animal creates a noise that persistently or continuously disturbs a neighbour.

Ongoing issues should be reported to Council. If Council determines there is a nuisance under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, they can give a notice to the owner to prevent he nuisance or can issue a fine for the offence. Court action is also available in some cases.

Contact us to report ongoing barking dog issues.

Humane cat trapping program

Stray wandering cats can go onto a property at night and make noise, destroy property and native wildlife. Wild and feral cats can fight with owned cats and spread diseases such as feline aid. They can make excessive noise when mating or in season.

Council supports a humane cat trapping program in an attempt to reduce the impact of wild and feral cats. Cat colonies consist of feral and wild cats, strays, abandoned animals and free roaming pets.

Cat trapping is a service provided by Mount Alexander Animal Welfare (MAAW) for a fee. Residents can collect a trap on from MAAW located at 24 Langslow Street, Castlemaine. The shelter phone number is (03) 5472 5277.

There is a chance that while setting a trap to catch a cat, that you may catch another animal such as a possum or bird. This is another reason in being vigilant in inspecting the trap while free feeding and setting the trap. When using cage traps you have the opportunity to release these animals immediately on identifying that you have accidentally caught an animal other than a cat.

Dog attacks

Owners are now subject to criminal offences if their dog kills or endangers the life of someone. Owners can be jailed for up to 10 years if their dog kills someone or for up to 5 years if their dog endangers someone's life.

Where the owner of a dog is under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of that owner will be deemed the legal owner of the dog and subject to any penalties.

This applies to owners of:
• Attack trained dogs
• dangerous dogs declared due to attack
• declared menacing dogs
• guard dogs
• restricted breed dogs (both registered and unregistered).

Wandering livestock

To report wandering livestock on any road, throughout the Municipality, please contact us.

Council will attend livestock wandering on any of its roads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is important to note Council will only attend to wandering livestock on a Council managed road.

For more information see Livestock and farm animals.

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