Complaints and Concerns

Barking Dogs

Edward River Council is required to follow up complaints about barking dogs, and in some cases, is able to take action against owners of barking dogs by fining them.

Understanding barking and nuisance behaviour

While barking is simply one way dogs communicate, some dogs bark excessively because they are:

  • Chained to a fixed point and don’t have enough room to move around;
  • Being provoked deliberately or unintentionally by people or other roaming offices;
  • Not getting enough exercise;
  • Not properly trained; or
  • Lonely, sick, hungry or neglected.

Chronic or excessive barking is a sign that something is wrong and can be a nuisance to others in the community. All dog owners have responsibilities under the Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 to ensure their dogs do not exhibit nuisance behaviour or emit offensive noise.

Reporting barking dogs

Before reporting a barking dog to Council, residents are encouraged to attempt to resolve the situation by raising the issue with the dog owner or seeking the assistance of a Community Justice Centre to mediate with the dog owner on your behalf. The owners of the dog may not necessarily be aware the dog is barking excessively, especially if the dog is only barking when its owner is away from the home.

When speaking with your neighbour, remember to be courteous and specific. Tell your neighbour if the dog is barking at certain times or at certain things, and given them an opportunity to fix the problem.

What will Council do?

If speaking with your neighbour does not successfully address the problem, you can report the matter to Council.

Reports can only be investigated if Council receives a complaint in writing (by email or post), and we are not able to investigate anonymous complaints.

When reporting a barking dog, you will need to us know the exact address of the problem dog and provide us with as much information as possible.

Once Council has a received a written complaint, we will then issue a letter to the dog’s owner and address the issues raised in the original written concern. Council will request the owner to take appropriate measures to alleviate the issue. We will only investigate the issue further should we receive more than one written complaints from neighbouring residents.

Dangerous dogs

A dog is considered dangerous if it has, without provocation:

  • Attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin)
  • Repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal.

If a dog meets the above criteria Council may declare the dog a 'dangerous dog'. Council must first give notice to the owner of a dog of their intention to declare the dog to be dangerous. You will be given information about your right to object to the proposed declaration. Objections must be made in writing within seven days.

Responsibilities of owners of dangerous dogs

If your dog is declared to be a dangerous dog you must:

  • Keep your dog in an enclosure constructed and maintained in such a way that the dog is not able to dig or otherwise escape;
  • Clearly display one or more signs on your property showing the words 'Warning Dangerous Dog';
  • Ensure your dog wears a distinctive collar consisting of red stripes alternately spaced with yellow stripes;
  • Keep your dog on a lead and wearing a muzzle;
  • Desex your dog; and
  • Do not leave your dog in sole charge of your children.

 Menacing Dogs

On 1 January 2014, the NSW Government introduced the 'menacing dog' category. A dog is considered menacing if it:

  • has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or
  • has, without provocation, attacked a person or animal (other than vermin) but whether out causing serious injury or death.

The Companion Animal Act 1998 regulations may declare a breed or kind of dog to be a menacing breed or kind of dog.

Responsibilities of owners of menacing dogs

If your dog is declared to be a menacing dog you must:

  • Have an area on your property which is capable of enclosing the dog in a manner that is sufficient to restrain the dog and prevent a child from having unsupervised access to the dog;
  • Clearly display a sign on your property showing the words 'Warning Dangerous Dog';
  • Ensure your dog wears a distinctive collar consisting of red stripes alternately spaced with yellow stripes;
  • When in public keep your dog on a lead and ensure it is wearing a muzzle;
  • Desex your dog (if applicable); and
  • Do not leave your dog in sole charge of your children.

Restricted dogs

The following dogs are restricted dogs for the purposes of the Companion Animals Act 1998:

  • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier;
  • Japanese tosa;
  • Dogo Argentino;
  • Fila Brasiliero; and
  • Any dog declared by a Council to be a restricted dog.

Owners of restricted dogs are obliged to comply with the same responsibilities (set out above) as owners of dangerous dogs.

Concerns about an animal’s welfare

If you are concerned for the health, safety or welfare of an animal or would like to report animal cruelty or neglect, you should contact the Deniliquin Police on (03) 5881 9499 or the RSPCA on 1300 278 358 or via their website.