Local residents are losing sleep over barking dogs and becoming anxious walking their own pets with constant complaints on social media about wandering animals.

It appears that many dogs adopted during the COVID lockdown are now left alone after having had the company of their owners.

Gunnedah Shire Council advises that if a dog is well looked after, it will generally not bark excessively and disturb neighbours. Dogs tend to bark for a reason – if they are chained up, hungry, thirsty, bored, sick, lonely, neglected or being provoked by a roaming dog or the cat next door.

Council suggests that if a neighbour’s dog is barking excessively, people should talk to the owner first as they may not realise their dog is bothering them, especially if it barks when they aren’t home. 

The council can also follow up complaints about barking dogs but complainants should keep a record of when the dog barks, the duration, frequency as well as the behaviour of the dog. The ranger investigates complaints and can issue a nuisance order to the dog’s owner. Heavy fines apply if the owner fails to act on the order and stop the barking.

Roaming and/or dangerous domestic animals should be reported to council and the ranger will be notified to tend to the animals. According to the council website, roaming and/or dangerous animals will be impounded and held for a statutory period in which time they can be collected by their owners. For further details visit Gunnedah Shire Council’s animal pound section.

Gunnedah Veterinary Hospital is also starting to see quite a few abandoned kitten and unwanted litters and with only a matter of time before all care facilities will reach capacity they advise desexing in an effort to break this breeding cycle.

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