Animal issues and concerns


Read this page for information about issues with animals and contact details.

Dangerous dogs

To find out if a dog has been declared dangerous you contact council with the details of the dog in question. Council officers can confirm this through the Victorian Dangerous Dogs Register.

If the owner of a dangerous dog is not complying with its restrictions you can refer them to us. We may apply heavy penalties for offences of:

  • repeat attacks 
  • being on the loose 
  • not being kept according to the law on confinement and management of such dogs. 

We may seize the dog in some cases. 

Report a dangerous dog issue

Dog attacks

Owners are now subject to criminal offences if their dog kills or endangers the life of someone. Jail terms of up to 10 years are possible a their dog kills someone. Jail terms of up to 5 years are possible if a 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 is the legal owner of the dog.

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).
Report a dog attack

Found an animal?

If you find an animal without an identification tag with a phone number, please contact us as soon as possible. 

Note: we do not collect animals after hoursWe will note the details of the animal we will collect them in 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.

Report an animal you found

Mount Alexander Animal Welfare Inc. (MAAW)

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

The MAAW shelter is at 24 Langslow Street, Castlemaine. The 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. MAAW will hold impounded stock for eight days. They will sell any unclaimed stock by tender.

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

Animal neglect and cruelty

Please direct all reports of animal cruelty or neglect to the RSPCA Victoria on 03 9224 2222. Please note, the Castlemaine MAAW is a pound and shelter only and does not handle any such complaints.

Please report lost and found animals to our Local Laws department. You can also report lost animals to the MAAW animal care facility on 03 5472 5277.

Barking dogs

Persistent or continuous disturbance from a barking dog may be a legal issue. Please report ongoing disturbances to us. 

If we determine there is a nuisance under the Domestic Animals Act, we can request action be taken, or issue a fine. Court action is also available in some cases.

Report barking dogs

Humane cat trapping program

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. Call to arrange a trap on 03 5472 5277

Stray wandering cats can make disruptive noise, destroy property and native wildlife. Wild and feral cats can fight with domestic cats and spread diseases such as feline AIDS. They can make excessive noise when mating or in season.

We support 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.

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. Please release any animal you've accidentally trapped.

Wandering livestock 

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 information about Council managed roads and contact details see the Livestock and farm animals page.