Wodonga Council
Talking cats and dogs - FAQs

Page URL: https://www.wodonga.vic.gov.au/Services/People-and-Pets/Pets/Talking-cats-and-dogs-FAQs

Talking cats and dogs - FAQs

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GENERAL

Why do I have to register my animal annually?

Under the Domestic Animal Management Act 2004, ALL cats and dogs over three months of age must be registered with us.

Registrations are due on April 10 each year, and you can register your animal online using our online services here. You can find out more about the registrations process here.

Is there a discount for pensioners?

Yes. The registration fee for animals owned by pensioners is half the applicable fee. There are some exemptions. You can read more via our website here.

Do all cats and dogs need to be desexed?

No, however there are many benefits to desexing your animals. You can also receive a reduced registration fee.

My dog or cat has run away – what will happen to it?

If your dog or cat is picked up by a ranger, they will do everything within their power to return it to you that day – so make sure they are microchipped and registered (and your contact details are up to date) so your loved companion can be brought home as soon as possible.

Someone must also be at home to receive the animal when it’s returned to the registered address. If you can’t be contacted or the pet is not microchipped and registered, it will be taken to AAMF in Lavington.

Check Albury Wodonga Pound for the most up-to-date listing (or alburypound.net) to see if your dog or cat has been impounded. You have eight days to claim your pet.

  • If it’s registered, phone AAMF on (02) 6025 9682 to make an appointment to collect it during opening hours.
  • If it’s not registered, you will have to register it before you can collect it – either online (pay via credit card) or in person at AAMF.
  • If your cat is not desexed, you will have to arrange with AAMF for a vet to desex it before you can collect it.

* Please note impounding fees also apply. Read more via the AAMF website here.

I’ve changed by address – how do I update my animal registration?

The easiest way to update your contact details with the council is to complete our ‘change of details’ online form.

You can also contact our customer service team on (02) 6022 9300 who will update your address on our systems.

DOGS

What can I do about a barking dog?

If you are comfortable doing so, you could approach your neighbour in the first instance, as they may be unaware of the problem if they are not home during the day/night. The council has also created a ‘barking dog card’ which you can print off here.

If the problem persists, please contact the council on (02) 6022 9300 to pursue a complaint. We will ask you to keep a log of the barking to assist our rangers in following up the issue.

Do dogs have to be on a lead?

We recommend your dog be on a leash at all times. But you must ensure your dog is always under control - either on a lead or by voice or hand command - for the safety of everyone out and about.

Dogs must be on a lead near playgrounds, around stock on council-owned leased areas, in WRENs reserves, at Gateway Lakes, at Gateway Village and wherever sign-posted. Extra care should be taken around sporting fields and open spaces.

Not everyone is a dog lover like you. Some people might be afraid of dogs or perhaps just not like dogs.

Your dog might be friendly, but other people and pooches might not be - prevent your dog attacking or frightening people or animals. Don't allow your dog to approach or, worse, charge at another person, particularly children, or another dog. This is a common factor leading to dog attacks which can lead to serious injuries and legal consequences.

Young children may not be equipped - physically, emotionally or intellectually - to be responsible for walking a dog and should have adult supervision at all times. Children are often too small and physically unable to control a dog - particularly one that may get over-excited or aggressive. And if something should happen to their much-loved pet, they may face physical as well as psychological injuries.

CATS

What is the council’s cat curfew?

Cats must be confined to their owner’s property between 7pm and 7am, seven days a week.

What can I do about a roaming cat in my neighbourhood?

If you know the owner of the cat, we encourage you to speak to the owner of the animal before contacting the council. We have developed a friendly letter to raise the issue with your neighbour here

If you are unsure of who owns the cat and would like to make a request to the council’s rangers to investigate, please contact us on (02) 6022 9300 with the location, address, breed and colour (if known) of the roaming cat. 

POUND SERVICES

In 2016, Wodonga Council awarded a tender to run the Wodonga pound services to Canine Country Kennels.

Wodonga still has a pound service, with the same operator used by AlburyCity, and Wodonga rangers still carry out animal management in the city including collecting and returning pets, dealing with dangerous and restricted dogs, investigating disputes and fulfilling the council’s legislative obligations. Registration fees will continue to cover this and the costs of a pound service.

On average each year, one in three dogs picked up by a ranger go straight back home and 77 per cent of dogs that go to the pound are collected by their owners and another 19 per cent are rehomed. Four per cent are deemed unsuitable for homing and are euthanised.

Wodonga Dog Rescue will have the same access to unclaimed animals at Canine Country Kennels as they did at Wodonga Pound and have the opportunity to work alongside other rescue agencies presently working with the new operator.

The city has outgrown the pound building which is also not suited to the long stays or the Victorian code standard required of an animal shelter.

Its location, inside the Waste Transfer Station site, restricts its use as a community facility as public access is limited to after hours and some public holidays.

The council spent the past 12 months undertaking an expressions of interest (EOI) process and then a formal tender process. This was widely publicised in the media and discussions were held throughout with Wodonga Dog Rescue.

Wodonga Dog Rescue was offered guidance on submitting an EOI. The group declined to do so and council respects their decision.

Does that mean Wodonga does not have a pound service?

The pound service has not ceased – the council is simply closing one door and opening another. The pound service now operates at Albury Animal Management Facility (AAMF) by Canine Country Kennels on 695 Mudge St, Lavington (which also provides pound services for AlburyCity, Greater Hume, Indigo and Towong councils).

Why has the pound service changed?

Moving the pound services to AAMF will save the council the thousands of dollars needed to maintain and upgrade a facility that was never designed to be a long-term animal shelter. The pound operated from within the Waste Transfer Station in Kane Rd, Wodonga and was only open five days a week for people to collect their pet, whereas the new pound at AAMF is open seven days a week.

Will animals still have the chance to be rehomed?

Canine Country Kennels has an equivalent rehoming rate to the present service and works with a variety of rescue organisations across the region to rehome pets.

What’s the difference between a pound and a shelter?

Pounds are not the same as animal shelters – a pound is a place where stray animals can be kept for eight days; an animal shelter is a place where animals are kept often for weeks at a time while a rescue organisation attempts to rehome them permanently. Neither Wodonga nor Albury has a formal animal shelter, although various animal rescue organisations may arrange for unclaimed pets to be fostered or rehomed. From January 2016, organisations and individuals who shelter animals are bound by controls listed in the Guide for Victorian dog and cat community foster care networks and rescue groups.