Return to Owner Program

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Hobsons Bay 360 #21: Reuniting pets with their owners

In June and July 2021, Council sought feedback from both pet and non-pet owners throughout Hobsons Bay to capture community concerns and thoughts surrounding pet ownership, animal and community welfare. We were able to facilitate several discussions and received 322 online survey submissions around a number of topics relating to Council’s existing animal management service and resourcing, how patrolling and enforcement is facilitated and what more can be done in these areas. From this community consultation a Domestic Animal Management Plan was developed. One of the actions from this Plan has been the creation of the Return to Owner Program.

About the Program

We’re committed to animal welfare, education of responsible pet ownership and reuniting dogs and cats with owners. This program is designed to minimise the number of dogs and cats transported to Councils pound and to reunite as many dogs and cats as possible with their owners.

Once the Council becomes aware that a dog or cat is found and in need of collection, it will undertake all reasonable measures to reunite that dog or cat with its owner, or have it collected and taken to the Council pound or holding facility.

The program aims to:

  • Reduce the instance of injuries or stress to the found dogs or cats.
  • Reduce the likelihood of the found dog or cat being involved in incidents while at large in effect reducing will the potential for injuries.
  • Put public safety on the forefront by reducing the number of dog attacks in the community.

Our Local Laws Team is proud to report that in 2023, 73% of all dogs found at large were returned directly to their owners. 


Thank you Cara from Hobsons Bay who was wonderful showing me around. Council is doing great things to protect our loved ones. The Return to Owner program has been a success! For anyone who has lost a cat or dog please contact Hobsons Bay City Council Cr Diana Grima.

View our Domestic Animal Management Plan, or to report a pet that has been sighted wandering without their owner call our customer service team on 1300 179 944.


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a series of stories exploring all corners of Hobsons Bay.