Thanks for your feedback. This consultation has now closed.

Thank you for your feedback, which has helped us finalise the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2022-25.

Council endorsed the Domestic Animal Management Plan 2022-25 at its 3 November 2021 Ordinary Council Meeting. Visit the Council Meetings page on Council's website at to view the Council Report, Engagement summary reports and final Plan. These documents are also available in the document library on this page.

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, every Victorian local government must prepare a plan outlining how it will manage dogs and cats within its municipal boundaries.

The Domestic Animal Management Plan aims to promote responsible pet ownership, the welfare of cats and dogs in the community and the protection of the community and environment from nuisance cats and dogs. The Plan also outlines how Council will enforce legislative requirements and compliance with our local laws.

  • Greater promotion of owners’ responsibility through increased education, awareness and enforcement - especially in relation to dog waste, dog restrictions and encouragement for responsible pet ownership;
  • Incorporation of actions into the draft Public Space Strategy that respond to feedback on the need for additional dog off lead areas, fenced areas and lighting.
  • Use of QR codes to provide improved access to information on dog regulations;
  • Development of a kit explaining how to report dog attacks and Council’s investigation process.
  • Develop an info-graphic depicting how registration fee income is allocated and make this available to the community.
  • A targeted campaign to increase education and awareness amongst pet owners on the potential impacts their pets can have upon wildlife.
  • Introduce a Council Order requiring dogs within 20 metres of an organised sporting event or scheduled training to be on lead; and prohibited from entering the ground/playing surface/training space while an organised sporting match or training is taking place.
  • Publish scheduled sporting events and training on website and via QR codes (where feasible) to assist the community to understand dog controls.
  • Introduce permit requirements for individuals/businesses wishing to walk more than 6 dogs at a time. The permit will contain conditions aimed at ensuring all dogs being walked are under effective control at all times, and the amenity impacts of a large number of dogs under the control of a walker in one place is managed. A standard permit condition will require all dogs to be on leash at all times when there are more than 6 dogs in the control of one walker.
  • Installation of improved signage and installing footpath stencils in key areas;
  • Investigate opportunities for non-food businesses to identify as dog friendly by providing a ‘door sticker’ and ways in which footpath traders can indicate they are dog friendly.
  • Introduction of a cat curfew from 9pm to 6am daily.
  • Introduction of mandatory cat de-sexing of newly registered cats, with exceptions as outlined in the Domestic Animals Act (1994).
  • Implement “Pets of Port Phillip” Clinic offering free pet de-sexing to members of the community who may have previously not been able to afford to microchip or de-sex their pets (in partnership with Port Phillip Animal Hospital and DHHS).
  • Continue to partner with the Lost Dogs’ Home, veterinary clinics and animal rescue organisations to optimise rehousing and adoption of dogs and cats, in order to reduce the incidence of euthanasia.

How you helped develop the plan

The engagement program included two phases of community engagement: consultation to inform development of the draft plan (May 2021); and consultation to gather feedback on the draft plan (August 2021).

Phase 1

In May 2021 we asked for your feedback on a range of domestic animal related issues and topics, along with what is working well and what could be improved.

A total of 1,717 community members were engaged primarily via an online survey, as well as hardcopy surveys, face-to-face pop ups, and email responses. The engagement program was hosted on Council’s Have Your Say online engagement portal and feedback was channelled primarily through a survey seeking feedback on a range on animal related topics and issues, and suggestions for improvement. Feedback was also captured through a series of neighbourhood-based pop-up sessions throughout May, where the community were asked to indicate to indicate how frequently they had noticed the following cat and dog related issues in Port Phillip.

Key findings from engagement:

  • High satisfaction with Council animal management services, in particular the friendly and responsive communication with Council about animal related issues.
  • A desire for increased compliance with, and enforcement of, leash rules, off-leash areas and dog prohibited areas.
  • Concerns about the cost of pet registration fees, and a lack of transparency around how the fee is used to serve the needs of pets and pet owners.
  • A desire for solutions to address the problem of dog waste which is not picked up (provision of dog waste bags was the prevalent suggestion).
  • A desire for more off-leash areas, including more fenced and enclosed areas.
  • A need for increased awareness of the process and ease with which incidents involving pets (e.g. dog attack) can be reported.
  • A desire for public education and awareness campaigns to increase the level of compliance with local laws regarding pets, including encouraging the community to call-out fellow community members if they see the wrong thing happening.

You can read more about the findings for this phase in the engagement summary report.

Phase 2

Following the first round of consultation we used your feedback to develop the draft Domestic Animal Management Plan 2022-25 which we asked for your feedback on throughout August 2021.

A total of 561 community members were engaged, primarily via an online survey seeking feedback on the proposed actions within the draft plan. Feedback was also received through an online forum and by email.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown there were limited opportunities for face-to face engagement activities during the consultation period and digital engagement was the main delivery mode.

Key findings from engagement:

  • There was generally a high level of satisfaction across the five themes, with more than 60% of respondents indicating some level of satisfaction with the proposed actions for most themes.
  • Respondents supported investigating more fenced dog off-leash areas in City of Port Phillip.
  • The proposed actions to support businesses to be dog friendly was supported by respondents.
  • Actions proposed to minimise overpopulation and animal euthanasia were strongly supported.

You can read more about the findings for this phase in the engagement summary report.

Satisfaction with proposed actions

Respondents were asked to what extent they agreed/disagreed with the proposed actions for each of the following themes.

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more about this project, contact us below:

Name Animal Management team
Phone 03 9209 6777