Domestic animal management plan 2013-2017 Moreland City Council

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Council off-leash parks

The issue of providing public park space to enable dog owners to exercise their dog off leash is one that often generates conflicting opinions and robust debate. Balancing the needs of dog owners wishing to exercise their dog off leash with the needs of a wide variety of other park users has been considered on a number of occasions in recent years.

In 2003 Council undertook a community survey to determine the effectiveness of the designation of parks as ‘on leash’ and ‘off leash’. Of those surveyed 76% were satisfied with the existing designation of parks and reserves. Similarly, 82% of respondents were satisfied with the existing designation of the park and reserve that they use most often.

Many submissions referred to the need for dogs to be exercised off leash – this activity is prohibited on public streets, as these are on leash at all times. Residents also commented that many residents live in units and apartments and are unable to exercise their dogs anywhere else. The benefits of dog owners and their animals meeting regularly is seen by residents as a major contributing factor to community connectedness and reducing isolation for many older residents.

Other suggestions made include: a fenced off area where dogs can be exercised; a curfew on the times that dogs can be off leash and additional signage to be installed.

Fencing of the playground areas was also suggested. However this is in conflict with Council’s Playground Strategy. The introduction of a curfew or designated times for dogs to be off leash may disadvantage some residents as the times set will not suit all park visitors.

Moreland has over 430 parks and reserves. There are large, quiet parks like Coburg Lake, smaller local parks, narrow reserves along our creeks and many areas for sport and recreation. Almost all parks have playgrounds and some have barbecues and half basketball courts. In most parks, dogs must be on a leash.

Council adopted a resolution on 8 March 2006 under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 which nominated 51 parks and reserves being dog off-leash areas.

A full list of Council’s off leash parks can be found in APPENDIX 1 of this plan or by visiting Council’s website ( .

Dog agility park

Council is considering creating a dog agility park. This would be an area which is fenced off with a dual access gate entry. This allows for dogs to be placed back on leash when exiting the park.

The dog agility park contains obstacles such as weaving poles, seesaw, walking ramps and various level jumps. The agility track would cater for a variety of dog fitness levels.

Benefits of providing services and facilities for dog owners

  • People are more likely to interact in public places when accompanied by dogs

  • Areas which attract dog owner are often community social hubs

  • Off leash and agility areas encourage owners to exercise with their dogs

  • Well exercised dogs are less likely to become bored and a nuisance


Training means owners have good control over their dog both at home and in the community. It may also prevent or treat behavioural problems. If help is needed owners can ask their vet, Council, animal shelter or dog club/ association for advice, or look under "Dog training" in the Yellow Pages.

Owners can also enjoy fun activities with their dog by joining an obedience, flyball or agility club. Find details of these clubs online, in the Yellow Pages, or by contacting 'Dogs Victoria'.

Dog Training clubs in Moreland

Brunswick Dog Training Club Inc

Wylie Park, Corner Union and South Daly Streets Brunswick West VIC 3055

Phone: 9388 8515

Broadmeadows Dog Obedience Club

Valley Park, Barry Road Broadmeadows VIC 3047

Phone: 9309 8304

Northern Obedience Dog Club

Aberfeldie Park, Bruce Street Moonee Ponds VIC 3039

Phone: 9375 1410


As the municipality changes more residential noise nuisance complaints continue to be a major issue in higher density areas. Living in apartments or small properties with dogs is challenging and a priority will be to educate dog owners about training and responsible animal ownership.

Selection of pets is important and should be carefully considered as not all dogs are suited to small living spaces. (refer ).

It is expected that noise nuisance complaints will continue to stay at high levels, due to the nature of the municipality.

Nuisance is examined in more detail under the following heading:

  • Dog at large complaints

  • Cat Trapping program

  • Barking Dogs

  • Dogs under effective control

  • Designated off leash areas

  • Prohibition areas

  • Dog excrement

  • Nuisance provision (under General Local Law 2007)

Dog at large complaints

Dogs aren't automatically dangerous, but when they are outside, away from home, scared, hungry or have been mistreated, they can be defensive and aggressive. It's better to protect yourself and your family than it is to try to rescue a stray dog that might be dangerous. Once you're safe and your family is safe, call Council to come and take care of the stray.

A separate tag bearing the owner’s phone number is recommended.

Animal Management Officers carry microchip readers to help indentify registered dog owners and where possible contact the owner and return stray animals to their property. Registered animals found at large are returned to their owners free of penalty on the first occasion. If the registered animal is again identified at large the owner risks receiving an infringement. All owners of unregistered animals found at large will receive an infringement notice.

All dogs found at large or taken into Council’s custody are delivered to The Lost Dogs Home. If a first offence, there is no penalty but there are holding fee costs payable to retrieve the animal from the LDH.

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