Dogs must be confined to the owner's property at all times - dogs are not allowed to roam. Should you wish to make a request for a Council Officer to investigate dogs roaming from their property, please contact Council on (07) 3810 6666 with the necessary information including location, address, breed and colour (if known) of the roaming dog/s. If the address is unknown, patrols will be carried out to try and locate the dog.
If a dog has roamed onto your property, please secure the dog to the property if it is possible and safe to do so and contact Council to arrange an Animal Management Officer to collect the animal. Please note, an adult must be present on the property for the Animal Management Officer's visit so that they can complete the necessary paperwork for the removal of the animal from their property.
Please note, sometimes issues of roaming dogs can be resolved by speaking to the dog owner first, without the need to involve Council.
Council has developed a letterbox drop style of form which you may wish to use to communicate the issue of the nuisance dog to your neighbour.
Simply print out the Roaming Dogs Neighbour Handout (PDF, 765 kb) fill in your details if you wish (this is optional) and place it in your neighbour's letterbox.
Council does provide dog traps free-of-charge to residents of Ipswich for the sole purpose of assisting them to impound stray animals that may be roaming onto their private property. Traps are available for a period of 10 working days - fees will apply if the trap is not returned during this time. For details, contact the Ipswich Pound on (07) 3810 6666.
It is not responsible of a pet owner to knowingly allow their dog to roam outside their property. When outside of your property, your dog may be stolen, injured, poisoned or killed. It could also injure another person or animal. Roaming dogs are a nuisance and it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure their dog does not roam.
Roaming dogs may be taken to the Ipswich Pound and Animal Management Centre as long as the dog was found in the Ipswich Council area and the customer lives in the Ipswich Council area.
If your dog is located in the Ipswich Pound and Animal Management Centre, you should visit the Pound and speak to the staff. In most cases, the dog owner will be charged fees prior to the release of the dog from the Pound. If the dog owner is unable to visit the Pound and would like their representative to collect the dog on their behalf, a letter of authority or similar authorisation by the dog owner is necessary to release the dog.
Dog owners may choose to surrender their animal to the Ipswich Pound as long as the owner lives in the Ipswich City Council area. Charges may apply.
How to Prevent Dogs Roaming
If your dog is escaping from your property you must try to ascertain the escape route. Often neighbours may witness the dog escaping your property so it's a good idea to discuss the situation with your neighbours.
Important fencing considerations include:
- Check all boundary fences and gates. Dogs can jump over, tunnel under, push over or break through fences and gates to escape your property. You must ensure that your fence is capable of keeping your dog on the property.
- If your dog jumps, you can add a strong extension to the fence to add height, or alternatively, add an inward sloping extension to discourage jumping.
- Tunnelling can be hindered by placing a concrete trench around the bottom of the fence or alternatively attaching a strip of chicken wire to the bottom of the fence and burying it effectively. The type of wire you use of course depends on the strength of your dog. For example, chicken wire may stop a Maltese Terrier but may do little to hinder a Rottweiler escaping.
- If you have a wooden fence, check the condition of the palings and other structural elements to ensure they are strong and secure so your dog cannot push them over and walk through the fence. For wire fences, check that the wire is firmly secured to the structural elements of the fence.
Important considerations include:
- If you don't have a fence or if you rent a property and are not willing to pay for a fence, you may erect a suitable enclosure for your dog. The RSPCA can assist you in determining the correct size of enclosure for your dog.
- Size - the dog must be able to move about freely and exercise within the enclosure.
- Shelter - the enclosure must have a sheltered area for the dog to escape the elements and to eat and sleep comfortably.
- Position - the enclosure should be in a quiet spot where the dog won't become over-stimulated by people or other animals passing by.
- Building materials - the enclosure should be built from materials that match the strength of your dog and should be constructed such that the dog cannot escape by jumping over or tunnelling under the enclosure.
- Floor - your dog will benefit from a concrete floor in its enclosure as it is easier to keep clean and disease free. Ensure you provide some easy to clean bedding for comfort.
- Water - ensure your dog has access to clean water. Provide a large bowl in its enclosure and refill every day.
- A dog that is permanently kept in an enclosure should be exercised regularly such as a long walk or run on a lead once a day.
Running Wires and Tethering
Placing your dog on a runner or tying it up as a means of confinement is not permitted under Council's Local Laws. Dogs may become entangled or injured.
Problems With Confinement
Like humans, dogs don't like to be confined. Dogs become bored and try to find something to fill their time. When bored, dogs can cause a nuisance and may bark, damage property or injure themselves trying to break free. To help prevent them causing a nuisance due to confinement, gradually introduce your dog to being confined by keeping it inside the enclosure for short periods of time on its own. Start when you are at home and then go out for increasingly longer periods of time until the dog is used to being inside its enclosure whilst you are gone. Ask your neighbours how the dog behaved when you were out. Feed and play with the dog inside the enclosure so it doesn't think the enclosure is punishment. Make sure the enclosure is secure, safe and placed in a quiet area of the property with limited visual stimulus. Your dog should also have water, food, toys and be comfortable.
What Happens to Roaming Dogs
Roaming dogs can be impounded by any member of the public or collected by Animal Management Officers from public property. If your dog roams and is collected by Council or another resident, Council will take all possible steps to contact you.
If your dog is missing, contact the Ipswich Pound and Animal Management Centre immediately. Release fees and any outstanding registration will need to be paid prior to the dog being released to you. If a dog is not claimed from the pound after three clear working days, Council will endeavour to re-house the dog with an approved welfare agency, or if the dog is not suitable for re-housing, it may be put to sleep.
If you encounter a nuisance dog from a neighbouring property, the first step could be to discuss the issue with your neighbour. Sometimes the issue of nuisance dogs can be resolved by speaking to the dog owner first, without the need to involve Council. Once a person is made aware that an issue is causing a nuisance to their neighbours, most of the time, they will take steps to fix the problem. Council strongly encourages the community to discuss these issues with their neighbours.
The Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General have developed a Neighbourhood Mediation Kit which provides advice on how to approach your neighbour to discuss a concern and tips on setting up mediation.
If neighbourhood disputes can not be resolved you may wish to take advantage of the Governments free Mediation Services. If so please contact the Dispute Resolution Branch on 1800 017 288 (toll free), or by post to:
Dispute Resolution Branch
GPO Box 149
BRISBANE QLD 4001
For more information on this service please visit the Queensland Government Department of Justice and Attorney-General website.
Alternatively should you wish to make a request for a Council Officer to investigate a nuisance dog, please contact Council on (07) 3810 6666 with necessary information including details of the nuisance, (roaming, barking or aggressive dog), location, breed of dog (if known), etc.
If you encounter an injured dog, it is recommended you contact the RSPCA on (07) 3426 9955 or take it to a veterinarian. If the dog is deceased, contact Ipswich Waste on (07) 3810 6666 for collection.
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