Pets and Animals FAQ

Find answers for a range of frequently asked questions related to Pets and Animals.

  • How do I deal with a stray cat?

    You can borrow a cat trap free of charge from Council's Customer Service Centres in Bright, Myrtleford and Mount Beauty. 

    If you catch a stray cat, please give it sufficient water and food, and call the Ranger during business hours on (03) 5755 0555 for pickup. The Ranger will only pick up trapped cats during working hours, and collect the trap. 

  • How do I report a barking dog?

    You should first talk to the owner if a barking dog is causing you trouble. They can then try to resolve the problem first.

    If the barking doesn’t stop, you can lodge a complaint with Council. You will be asked to log the barking for at least one week. An authorised officer will then speak to the owner of the dog. The officer will tell them how to stop the barking, or issue a notice to comply to the owner.

    If the barking continues after this, you will need to keep a log for a further seven days. Then, the officer may issue an infringement notice on the owner.

  • How do I report a European Wasp nest?

    You must remove or destroy a European Wasp nest on your property. Please bear in mind that they may aggressively defend their nest. Council destroys nests on Council land. Please call the Environment Officer on 03 5755 0555 if you find a nest.

  • How do I report a lost pet or animal?

    See if your animal is in our pound. If your animal is in our care, you need to sign a release form and pay the appropriate impounding fee at the Shire Offices. The ranger will collect your animal and bring it to you at the Shire offices for a happy reunion. The Ranger will direct you to the pound for larger animals.

  • How do I report a wandering dog?

    Please call the Council Ranger during business hours on (03) 5755 0555 to report a wandering dog. In after-hours emergencies, please call (03) 5755 0568.

    Council staff may capture wandering dogs and cats. Its owner has to pay a release fee plus the registration fee (if unregistered) to get the animal back. You have eight days to reclaim your lost pet. After that, the pound can sell or destroy it.


  • How do I report an Elm leaf beetle infestation?

    If you want to report an Elm with a (suspected) leaf beetle infestation, please contact Councils arborist on 03 5755 0555.

  • What can I do about swooping birds?

    All Victorian native wildlife is protected by law, and it is illegal to harass or harm native birds and other wildlife without authorisation.

    Swooping birds may be a frightening or even a dangerous experience. However, not all birds swoop to protect their eggs and young during breeding season, so don't be concerned simply because there are magpies or other common swooping birds in the area. Native birds can swoop in urban and rural areas, in parks and gardens, along bike tracks and in school yards, or anywhere that birds are nesting. 

    The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has tips for how to protect yourself from swooping birds:

    1. Know your local swooping hotspots

    Keep informed about parks, schoolyards and bike trails in your local area by reading your local newspapers or viewing Victoria’s ‘Magpie Map’ on

    2. Avoid the area

    The best way to protect yourself from a swooping bird is to avoid venturing into their territory.

    3. Move quickly

    If you must pass through the area – move calmly and quickly – do not run.

    4. Cover your head

    Wear a hat or carry a stick or umbrella above your head. Cyclists should wear a helmet, dismount and walk through the area.

    5. Eyes at the back of your head

    Birds may be less likely to swoop if they think you are watching them. Draw a pair of ‘eyes’ and attach to the back of hats and helmets.

    6. Do not harass wildlife

    Don’t interfere with or throw stones at birds. This gives them added reason to see humans as a threat and may increase swooping behaviour.

    7. Do not destroy nests

    This may prompt birds to rebuild their nests, prolonging the swooping behaviour.

    8. Don’t feed swooping birds.

    This may encourage swooping behaviour.

    9. Travel in a group

    If possible, try to travel in a group in areas where there are swooping birds.

    10. Notify others

    Put up warning signs for others who may not be aware that there are swooping birds in the area, or ask Council to do so.

    You can also mark a bird-swooping area on Victoria’s Swooping Bird Map at

    Victoria's Swooping Bird Map

    Being aware of swooping areas can also help us to avoid venturing into the territories of these birds and take extra precautions while they are protecting their nests and young.

    The  Victorian Swooping Bird Map shows locations where people were swooped, mainly during the annual spring breeding season.

    Author: State of Victoria.

  • Where can I walk my dog off-lead?

    Dogs can be walked off-lead outside of town centres, as outlined in Council's on lead maps. However, dogs must be under effective control at all times.

    A dog is considered under effective control if:

    • It returns to the person in charge of the dog upon immediate command
    • The person in charge of the dog has a clear and unobstructed view of the dog and the dog is securely tethered
    • It does not bother, attack, worry or interfere with any person or animal

    These requirements are outlined in the Council order - Dog Control.

    Dogs must be on-lead in designated areas of town centres. Thse areas are identified in the below maps:

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