THE City of Ballarat issued almost $250,000 in fines for errant pets across the city in 2014.
Figures obtained from the council show more than 1100 dogs were brought in by council rangers last year and 1066 of those were reclaimed by owners.
In Ballarat, fines are $221 (day) and $295 (night) – the same as the City of Greater Bendigo and the Moorabool Shire Council. Most councils’ fines are directed by the Domestic Animals Regulations 2005 – an updated version of the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Local rangers also picked up about 200 cats in the city last year, however City of Ballarat city infrastructure general manager Eric Braslis said fines for cats were less common as they posed less of a risk to the public.
In addition to fines, residents are slugged with fees to get their beloved ones out of Ballarat’s RSPCA Victoria shelter – $118 for dogs and $87 for cats – and those costs spiral for un-vaccinated animals.
The City of Ballarat did not directly respond to questions from The Courier asking where all the revenue from fines was distributed, however Mr Braslis referred to upgrades at Ballarat’s RSPCA Victoria shelter.
“Our recent works at the animal shelter facility include $100,000 towards resealing of the flooring with impervious material, fencing, exit signs and essential safety compliance such as updating extinguishers,” he said.
The Gillies Street South shelter was renovated last year after Victorian Animal Aid Trust backed out of a deal to operate the pound in 2013, citing occupational health and safety issues at the site.
Social network groups are seemingly fighting back against the fines.
Lost and Found Pets Ballarat has more than 1100 members, while Ballarat Buy, Swap And Sell also helps reunite owners with lost pets.