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Animal complaints

Do you have a nuisance (barking) dog nearby?

Dogs bark as it’s their means of communication however sometimes it can be deemed a nuisance. 

Boredom, attention-seeking, excitement, separation related behaviours, fear, limited socialisation, territorial barking, injury, or health issues are some of the causes of excessive barking.

If you suspect a dog is being mistreated, contact an RSPCA inspector on (02) 9770 7555 or 1300 278 3589, or visit the  RSPCA website.

If you are experiencing a barking dog that you believe to be a nuisance you have several options available to take your own action.

Often the owner of the dog may not be aware of the issue so you should first approach your neighbour in a respectful manner to discuss your concerns. Where this approach does not resolve the issue, the following options are available to you:

  • Mediation – The local Community of Justice Centre can assist with mediation and further details regarding this option can be found on the Community of Justice Centre page.
  • Noise Abatement Order – The Local Court can issue a Noise Abatement order. Further details regarding this option can be found on the EPA page for Seeking noise abatement orders

Council’s Rangers can investigate requests regarding a barking dog, but it cannot be an individual notification. There needs to be broad community noise impact (i.e. multiple residences) which has been verified by independent evidence.

Reporting to Council

To report a barking dog matter you can contact us or log a request to Council’s Rangers using Log it/Fix it.

Our  Rangers team will assess the information provided and if there is sufficient evidence to suggest a broad community noise impact exists. Council will require each impacted resident to complete a noise diary over a three-week period to assist in determining the frequency and length of time the dog barks.

Where an investigation commences, it may take up to 4 months to complete. This is due to the need to collect appropriate evidence and issue notices.

Where a Nuisance Order is issued, it only remains in force for a period of 6 months, at which point the issue needs to be reassessed if the nuisance is continuing.

You can refer to Council's FAQ sheet for further information. 

Council will not investigate anonymous requests. Also, if we determine the evidence submitted is not adequate and does not demonstrate the dog barks to a frequency or length of time where the community is significantly impacted, then no further action will be taken. 

Nuisance dogs and cats

It is important that your pet does not disturb your neighbours.

A dog is deemed to be a nuisance if it:

  • consistently roams unattended or escapes the property where it is usually kept
  • makes persistent, excessive noise
  • repeatedly defecates on private property other than the property on which it is ordinarily kept
  • repeatedly runs at or chases a person, animal (other than vermin) or vehicle
  • endangers the health of a person or animal (other than vermin)
  • repeatedly causes substantial damage to anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept

A cat is deemed to be a nuisance if it:

  • makes persistent, excessive noise that reasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises
  • repeatedly damages anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept

Rangers investigate issues such as:

  • Dog attacks
  • Cats attacking other animals
  • Dogs and cats causing a nuisance
  • Dogs and cats in prohibited areas
  • Unattended, off leash and roaming dogs


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