Pet-life balance weighed up in survey

July 25, 2021 BY

Surf Coast Shire mayor Libby Stapleton, pictured with Pepper, is one of the thousands of dog owners across the shire and is encouraging all residents to have their say on managing pets.

CAT curfews, off-leash areas for dogs and a range of other pet-related issues are under consideration as the Surf Coast Shire council prepares its new Domestic Animal Management Plan (DAMP).
The council develops a new plan every four years, in consultation with the community, with the aim of encouraging responsible pet ownership while ensuring everyone has an enjoyable place to live and play.
As the Surf Coast community has grown over time, the number of dogs registered has also grown, with 5,715 registered in 2011 and 6,313 registered in 2021.
The number of registered cats has actually declined from more than 1,000 a decade ago to 905 felines on the council’s records in 2021.
To assist with the development of the new plan to manage dogs and cats for 2022-26, all pet owners and interested non-pet owners are being asked to complete an online survey.
The survey asks people to rank priority issues including barking dogs, cats harming wildlife, dog poo left in public places, cats trespassing, too many or the need for off-leash areas for dogs, dog behaviour and cat curfews.
Under the shire’s existing management plan, cats can only roam outside between 6-8pm, and there is no curfew in rural areas.
The community is asked if a curfew should stay, be extended in rural areas or extended to a 24-seven curfew across the shire.
People can have their say on off-leash times for dogs on beaches, offer a dog park wish list, and there are questions about what’s considered acceptable when it comes to dog poo, and
what’s not.
The online surveys for anyone with or without pets can be found on the Surf Coast Shire website and closes on August 15.
The draft DAMP 2022-26 will go to the council in September, with the community asked for more feedback before the plan is finalised.


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