Allow Dog or Cat To Be a Nuisance
– section 32(1) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994
This charge is generally filed against a person to cover a prosecution for the persistent barking of dogs. It is commonly fought in court on a matter of principle given that the penalty is so low (i.e. do you want to pay a lawyer when the fine is only 3 penalty units?). An accused may also choose to fight this charge to avoid getting a conviction recorded against their name, as even non-convictions still go on a person’s criminal record and that may be a concern for people.
- That a dog or cat was kept or permitted to remain on the premises of the accused, and
- That dog or cat had been a nuisance by:
- Injuring or endangering the health of any person, or
- Creating a noise, such as barking, which persistently occurs and unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises, and
- That the accused must have then been the occupier of the premises
- Did your neighbour confuse another dog’s barking with your dog’s barking?
- Did the victim trespass on your property, and whilst doing so they were injured by your dog?
- Is it actually a dog or a cat? Rabbits, guinea pigs and birds would not be covered under this section.
- Was the barking actually persistent – did it continue for a few days, or weeks, or months?
From 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016, there were a total of 42 cases involving 286 charges of Allow Dog or Cat To Be a Nuisance that were heard at the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria. Of these cases, 25 (59.5%) resulted in a fine while the remaining (17) 40.5% resulted in an adjourned undertaking/discharge/dismissal