Domestic animal management plan 2013-2017 Moreland City Council

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Moreland is a municipality in the inner north of Melbourne, Australia. The City of Moreland covers 50.9 square kilometres and is one of Melbourne’s most populous municipalities. In 2010 Moreland had a population in of 155,087 residing in 58,574 properties.

The City of Moreland lies between 4 and 14 kilometres north of central Melbourne. It is bordered by the Moonee Ponds Creek to the west, Merri Creek to the east, Park Street to the south and the Western Ring Road to the north. It covers the suburbs of Brunswick, Brunswick East, Brunswick West, Coburg, Coburg North, Fawkner, Glenroy, Gowanbrae, Hadfield, Oak Park, Pascoe Vale, and Pascoe Vale South. Small sections of the suburbs of Fitzroy North and Tullamarine are also located in the City.


Having a pet is a popular lifestyle choice for Australians with over 60% of households having a pet- the majority being dogs and cats.

Companion animals play a vital part in building happy, healthy communities - plugging people back into their community, be it through getting people out volunteering, exercising or interacting socially with others.

Pets don’t just make people who own them feel good; they can create a positive ripple effect that extends into the broader community.

While poorly supervised pets can sometimes cause a degree of nuisance, studies demonstrate that the closer the bond between pet and owner the more responsible the owner is likely to be.

There is now considerable evidence demonstrating the link between responsible pet ownership building social capital and wellness. This implies a potentially new role for Council in harnessing the benefits of animal and pet ownership or at least maintaining the ability of the community to continue to own animals or pets

In this new environment, it is essential that Council take a strategic approach to managing animals and pets in its community. This strategy will provide Council with a sound basis and direction from which it can plan, co-ordinate and make future decisions to meet the needs of the community and legislation.

The Council’s management of urban animal issues aims to have a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and lives of the whole community and the care of animals in the municipality.

While the predominant focus is on dogs and cats, the Moreland City Council Local Law also identifies and manages other animals which are kept within our community. Dogs and cats represent by far the most significant number and type of animals and have the most significant impact on our community, our environment, our health and well being.

Refer APPENDIX 2 for information on Responsible Pet Ownership including:

  • Selecting the right pet

  • Should we get a dog or a cat?

  • Costs and benefits of pet ownership

  • Dental Disease

  • Shampoo & Skin Care

  • Vaccination Programme

  • Flea Control

  • Worming

Animal Cruelty

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries and the RSPCA have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in place to assist in coordinating investigation activities relating to animal cruelty. This MOU sets out that the RSPCA is primarily responsible for investigation of companion animals and non-commercial livestock animal welfare issues.

Oscar’s Law

For six years, Oscar lived as a stud dog. His entire universe has been a tiny, filthy cage. No walks in the park, no sunlight, he’s never even seen the sky. All he knows is being locked inside a giant shed with hundreds of other dogs on a remote property in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges. His life was an endless cycle of breeding and pain. Prized for his miniature size, Oscar’s pups, which he’s never seen, are marketed as ‘teacups’ and sold for a premium. Until one night a woman appears, opens his cage, gives him his first cuddle and takes him away.

There’s a difference between responsible breeders and puppy factories.

The Domestic Animals Act 1994 rules that any person who runs a dog breeding business for profit must register with the local council. Enterprises must operate in accord with the state government’s Code of Practice, which outlines minimum standards of care.

RSPCA considers puppy farming to be a significant national welfare issue. In its view, a ‘puppy factory’ is defined as an intensive breeding facility operated under inadequate conditions that fail to meet the dogs’ behavioural, social and/or physiological needs. The organisation advocates regulation of the breeding, supply and sale of dogs to help set minimum standards and stamp out the mass-production of puppies for profit.

If you want to buy a puppy please consider a shelter or an adoption agency, or visit the breeder’s premises before you commit. For more information, see the Smart Puppy Buyer’s Guide on the RSPCA website (

Moreland City Council condemns the factory farming practice which forces dogs into a constant cycle of breeding from birth to death.


This DAMP was developed by the Animal Management Team in consultation with a community working party consisting of representatives from Council and the Community.

The reference group members were:

  • ex Moreland Councillor and animal advocate

  • Member of the Brunswick Dog Obedience Club, animal therapist and teacher

  • CEO Lost Dogs Home (Council’s pound provider)

  • Council Officer representing Pet Pals

  • Representative from Rescued With Love (Pet Rescue)

  • MCC Unit Manager Local Laws and Civic Compliance

  • MCC Manager Urban Safety

  • Animal Management Officer

Others consulted:

  • MCC Coordinator Open Space Design & Development

  • MCC Manager Youth and Leisure

The aim of the community working party was to provide a closer connection between the Council and the community about animal management issues. These representatives will be engaged to assist Council with the annual review of the DAMP.

Community Recommendations

Council Response

Communicate to dog owners - both through their registration documents, and via signage at the grounds that dogs should not be off leash on sports grounds while there is training or games underway, when on or around shared pathways or when near children's playgrounds.

Included in Action Plan

More bins required at parks for dog droppings.

Investigate green alternatives for dog dropping disposal similar to Stonington model.

Included in Action Plan

Continue to lobby the state government for the ability to conduct a trail for a Trap Neuter Release (TNR) program.

Included in Action Plan

Take photos of all animals impounded and present these on Council’s website

Included in Action Plan

Increase the exposure of pound and foster care pets by placing advertisements at Pet supply companies.

Included in Action Plan

Develop a dog agility park in the municipality

Included in Action Plan

Community Recommendations

Council Response

Develop partnerships with neighbouring Councils when running microchip days and pet information sessions

Included in Action Plan

Train all animal Management Officers with the ability to inset microchips in pets.

Included in Action Plan

Enter into 84Y agreements with selected Community Foster Care Networks

Included in Action Plan

Enter into 84Y agreements with selected Veterinary Care Clinics

Included in Action Plan

Develop and support a Moreland based Community Foster Care Network

Included in Action Plan

Include a link to a pet assessment program to enable potential pet owner to select the most appropriate pet for their lifestyle.

Included in Action Plan

Include a link to an owner assessment program on Council’s website to the Pet License Test available at the Lost Dogs Home Website.

Included in Action Plan

Establish a better analysis for the determination of the estimated number of unregistered dogs and cats in the municipality.

Included in Action Plan

Consider linking the Community Health Care Plan and Aged Care Plan to the DAMP

Council Report to be developed

Consider the formation of a Residents Advisory Group specifically focused on Animal Related matters.

Council Report to be developed

Consider forming a partnership with the Brunswick Dog Club to cross promote the benefits of a well trained dog.

Included in Action Plan

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