The Domestic Animal Management Plan is a statutory plan Councils need to produce every four years.
We wanted to understand the needs and priorities of the community before drafting the plan, in order to deliver on those needs in the plan.
To achieve this, we shared information and a discussion paper on Participate Melbourne, and invited participants to take a survey.
We began the first round of engagement on 13 May 2022. This closed on 5 June 2022.
We shared information and a discussion paper about the plan on Participate Melbourne. This was accompanied by a detailed online survey that welcomed further feedback via free text boxes in the survey and an email address to make further submissions to.
Key internal and external stakeholders were asked individually to provide feedback and information.
Who we reached
online surveys completed
What we heard
Interestingly, 86 per cent of visitors to the page were first time visitors to Participate Melbourne and 36 per cent of contributors said that this was their first time participating in a City of Melbourne consultation.
- 82 per cent of contributors live in the City of Melbourne
- 82 per cent of people that responded were dog or cat owners and 81 per cent of all people use local parks, reserves and playgrounds.
- The engagement identified that pets play an enormous and positive role in the lives of people. Pets improve support and physical and mental health.
People identified the following, raking their answers from not important to very important:
- 33 per cent of respondents stated it is very often or always dogs are observed off leash where they shouldn't be and dog waste is not picked up
- 57 per cent of respondents would like more promotion relating to dog leashing rules and responsibilities.
- 51 per cent of respondents stated it is fairly important or very important dog training events continue.
- 57 per cent of respondents feel its fairly important or very important (44 per cent) for there to be a cat desexing program. 68 per cent strongly support a mandatory cat desexing.
The draft Domestic Animal Management Plan was developed based on feedback we received from our community.
The draft Domestic Animal Management Plan will be presented to the Future Melbourne Committee for endorsement on 2 August 2022.
We will conduct a second round of community engagement via Participate Melbourne seeking feedback on the draft Domestic Animal Management Plan following endorsement.
We wanted to ask our community about their level of support for the draft plan and whether the proposed timelines for objectives outlined in the Domestic Animal Management Plan were satisfactory. We published the draft plan on Participate Melbourne. This was supported by a survey with free text boxes for community to provide feedback to support their answers or about anything we have missed in the draft plan.
We began this second round of engagement on 17 August 2022. This was scheduled to end on 8 September 2022; however, we extended the engagement period until 12 September 2022 to ensure we heard from our community.
There was an online survey that invited further feedback via free text boxes in the survey and an email address to make further submissions to.
Key stakeholders, both internal of City of Melbourne and external, were asked individually to provide feedback and information.
Who we reached
draft plan downloads
What we heard
91 per cent of people lived in the City of Melbourne, 81 per cent were dog owners and 33 percent use local parks reserves and playgrounds.
- 33 per cent of respondents are quite supportive of the draft plan
- 12 per cent of respondents are very supportive of the draft plan
- 29 per cent of respondents are average support of the draft plan
- 43 per cent of respondents agree with the proposed timelines for the plan objectives
- 34 per cent of respondents are unsure about the proposed timelines for the plan objectives
From the qualitative feedback;
- There is common and strong feedback about dogs being off leash in on leash areas
- Irresponsible pet owners affect the amenity of our parks and public places for pet and non-pet owners
- There is a demand for more dog off leash areas or that residents are unhappy with the new designated off leash areas provided following the completion of the dogs in open space project.
- There is feedback with demand for a cat curfew for biodiversity reasons
- This feedback calls for more common and strong enforcement of the rules
The draft plan was supported by the community; edits were made to the draft plan to ensure feedback from both rounds of engagement were addressed.
The Domestic Animal Management Plan was endorsed at Future Melbourne Committee on 4 October 2022.