Animal fines or infringements Appealing a fineAnimal registrationDog at large Minor dog attack Appeal information required from youThe fine/infringement review process How to pay the fine/infringement Not paying the fine/infringement Magistrate’s court
Council encourages responsible pet ownership. We are concerned both about animal welfare and the protection of our community's environment. When an animal's behaviour becomes a problem, an infringement notice may be issued to the animal's owner. Penalties vary depending on the nature of the offence and are set by the state government.
Infringements/fines for alleged animal-related matters are generally sent in the mail to the registered animal owner or the person in charge of an animal after an Authorised Officer has fully investigated the incident
Offences regarding domestic animals are detailed in the Domestic Animals Act (Vic) 1994 and the fine amounts associate with those offences are reviewed annually by the state government. Council has no discretion in setting the infringement amount.
Following is information about the most common infringements issued to owners of cats and dogs. The recipient of any infringement notice may lodge an appeal requesting the matter to be reviewed.
Animal registration payments benefit Whitehorse residents and their dogs and cats in the following ways:
The state government also charges a levy from every animal registration fee received. The levy is used to provide funding to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources’ Responsible Pet Education programs, including education programs for schools and adults, and State Government research into dog and cat welfare and control issues, much of which is focussed on finding solutions to the problems of dealing with and reducing the numbers of unwanted dogs and cats in the community.
The benefits of animal registration for the community are listed in more detail by the Victorian Department of Agriculture.
Under the Domestic Animals Act (Vic) 1994, dog and cat registration renewals are required to be paid to Council by 10 April each year. If it is not paid by that date, your dog or cat is unregistered and an unregistered animal may attract a fine for the owner.
All cats and dogs must be registered with Council once they reach three months of age.
To remind residents that their dog or cat needs to be re-registered, a registration renewal notice is sent by Council in March each year. A follow-up reminder is sent in May of each year to those residents who not paid the registration or informed us that they no longer have their animal or they have moved away from the municipality. In June of each year, Council Officers telephone residents who still have not renewed their animal registration or have advised that they no longer have the animal or have moved away from the municipality. Follow-up home visits by Council Authorised Officers may also be conducted.
The following commonly presented reasons are NOT CONSIDERED VALID for the withdrawal of an animal registration infringement notice:
Dogs at large are dogs that have been found to be not securely confined to a property or not under the effective control of a person.
Dogs at large are a hazard to pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and themselves, they may become aggressive if they become frightened by unfamiliar surroundings or people and they can defecate in the street and neighbouring gardens.
The following commonly presented reasons are NOT CONSIDERED VALID for the withdrawal of a dog at large infringement notice:
A minor dog attack occurs when a dog that is not considered to be a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog, attacks or bites a person or an animal and the injuries caused by the bite are not considered to be a serious injury as defined in Section 3(1) of the Domestic Animals Act (Vic) 1994. Such an attack may attract an infringement.
A serious dog attack proceeds directly to the Magistrate’s Court.
The following commonly presented reasons are NOT CONSIDERED VALID for the withdrawal of minor dog attack infringement notice:
In accordance with the Infringements Act (2006) you can request in writing for your fine/infringement to be withdrawn if you believe that it is not valid for any of the following reasons:
If you believe the fine/infringement was incorrectly issued or you wish to apply for a payment arrangement or you would like to have your fine/infringement heard in court, you must send your appeal letter or an Application for an Animal Infringement Appeal, Payment Arrangement or Court Appearance form. (LINK – NEW FORM TO REPLACE EXISTING) so that it is received by Council prior to the due date of the fine/infringement. You may send your appeal to the following addresses:
Infringement appeals.html Panel
Whitehorse City Council
Locked Bag 2
Nunawading Delivery Centre 3131
Or email email@example.com
If you do not provide important supporting information or supporting documentation with your appeal, we will have to contact you and request this information which will inconvenience you and delay the appeal process or the appeal will be rejected. Council cannot process your appeal without the following information:
* Mandatory information
Please note: In accordance with the Infringements Act (2006), a postal address is required to enable Council to provide you with a response in writing.
Please be advised that if the required information is NOT received by the fine/infringement due date, the infringement will progress and may incur additional costs and further action.
Some of the key information required is detailed below.
For your convenience, all the required information is detailed in the Application for an Animal Infringement Appeal, Payment Arrangement or Court Appearance form.
The following table details the supporting documentation that could assist the Infringement appeals.html Panel to make a timely decision on your appeal or request for a payment arrangement. All supporting documentation must be relevant to the fine/infringement.
Note: Failure to provide supporting documentation may result in a delay in the process or a decision will be made without it.
The appeals process is bound by the Infringements (Reporting and Prescribed Details and Forms) Regulations (2006), which allows up to 90 days for a response from Council. Once Council receives your appeal with the appropriate contact information and appeal detail, any action on your Infringement is suspended and your infringement will be placed on hold pending a review.
All appeals.html are reviewed by the Whitehorse City Council Infringement Appeals Panel. The panel will take into account all available information including:
Once all the information has been received, the fine/infringement will be reviewed and a response will be sent by mail to you once a decision has been reached.
In accordance with the Infringements Act 2006, only one appeal can be considered.
It is within your rights to contact the Mayor and/or your local Councillor about a fine/infringement. However, the Mayor and Councillors will refer the matter to the Infringement Appeals Panel in accordance with the regular appeal process.
If your appeal for a payment arrangement is successful, Council will notify you in writing informing you of the new payment arrangement.
If your appeal for a payment arrangement is unsuccessful, Council will notify you in writing indicating the payment due date. Council will only consider one appeal unless there is additional evidence you can provide to support your case.
If you are not satisfied with the decision, you may elect to have the matter heard in Court.
If your fine/infringement appeal is successful, Council will notify you in writing indicating that the fine/infringement has been withdrawn. This may also include an official warning.
Should your fine/infringement appeal be unsuccessful, you will be advised in writing of a new payment date. Council will only consider one appeal unless there is additional evidence you can provide to support your case.
If you decide to pay the fine/infringement by the due date, you will not need to take any further action. However, if the payment is not received by the due date, the matter may escalate and you may incur additional costs or it may result in appearing before a magistrate.
Payments may be made at any of Council’s three Customer Service Centres:
Cheque or money order payments can be mailed to the City of Whitehorse, Locked Bag 2, Nunawading Delivery Centre, 3131. Please ensure that you include your Parking Infringement No. and the registration number of your vehicle with your mailed payment.By phone:
Credit card phone payment is available by phoning 9697 5730. The service is provided by SecurePay.Online:
Payment can be made by clicking on the Online Payment section of the website.
IMPORTANT: Please wait three days after the infringement date before you can pay the fine/infringement to allow for fine/infringement information to be loaded into the Council’s payment systems.
If a fine/infringement is not paid by the due date shown on the Infringement Notice, the issue gets escalated in the following way:
It is suggested prior to having the matter heard in front of a Magistrate, that you seek independent legal advice before taking this step. Should you decide not to seek legal advice, the information provided below may assist you.
To inform Council you wish to dispute the fine/infringement before a Magistrate you must inform Council in writing. Please complete the Application Form for an Animal Infringement Appeal Payment Arrangement or Court Appearance (51.51kB).
You will receive an acknowledgement that the matter will be heard in court and you will receive a summons in writing telling you the date, time and place of the hearing. If you succeed at the hearing, the fine/infringement will be withdrawn. If you are not successful, you will be required to pay the fine/infringement amount and any court and Council costs.
To help you with your day in court, refer to information on the Victorian Law Foundation website.
379-397 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading, Victoria 3131
Tel: (03) 9262 6333 Fax: (03) 9262 6490Email: firstname.lastname@example.org