About our Rangers
Council’s Rangers undertake a wide range of duties, including:
- Animal control
Daily operation and maintenance of the pound
Regulation of companion animals and off-leash areas
Abandoned vehicles and other items
Issuing infringement notices
General reporting of environmental health issues e.g. air, water and noise pollution and illegal dumping incidents
Regular patrols of parks and reserves in relation to illegal camping and compliance with council policy and relevant laws
Illegal signage control
Investigating other incidents as required
The Hilltops region is home to a number of snake species. We encourage residents to keep the area around their house free from rubbish, ensure your garden is well maintained and keep your grass short.
Residents must be aware of the potential danger of snakes, particularly in the warmer months. Snakes are most active in warm weather and are often found in bushy areas.
If you do see a snake, do not approach it, attempt to kill it or try to capture it.
All native snakes in NSW are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
More information about native snakes can be obtained on the NSW Planning, Industry and Environment website.
If you need to have a snake removed, please contact Wildcare on (02) 6299 1966
If you have a bee swarm in your backyard or local area please do not try and kill or interfere with the bees, you are likely to anger the bees and get stung. The bees will not harm you if they are left alone.
Remember the important role bees play in the pollination of agricultural crops, such as many of our nuts, fruit and vegetables.
Contact a beekeeper to have the swarm removed and placed in a beehive. To find a local bee collector, please go to https://www.beekeepers.asn.au/swarms put in your postcode, this will then bring up a contact number for a registered bee collector.
The European wasp (Vespula germanica) is one of the most invasive insect pests globally, with major incursions in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, the USA and Canada. Because this social wasp species thrives in suburbia as well as wilderness areas.
The European wasp has gradually spread through our region since first being documented in Canberra in 1984. It’s renowned for its painful sting, and unlike bees, European wasps are able to sting repeatedly.
European wasps are bright yellow and black, with bright yellow legs. They are predominantly black on their front with bright yellow markings, and bright yellow on their back with black stripes, and black dots between the stripes down each side of the abdomen, sometimes joining the stripes.
European wasp nests occur primarily in the ground and are easily sighted due to the constant wasp activity above the nest, although the entrance hole may be well hidden. Nests can also be found in retaining walls, rockeries, hollows of trees, walls cavities and vents and the roof eaves of buildings.
You can destroy the occasional wasp by using a burst of fly spray. You should NEVER attempt to treat greater wasp numbers or the nests as it can be home to many thousands of wasps, which are fiercely protective of their nest.
European wasps are attracted to sweet drinks, food, insects, and pet food. Covering the food will reduce the risk of being stung.
If stung, the recommended first aid for a wasp sting is an ice pack to reduce that pain and swelling. However, if someone is stung in the mouth, has difficulty breathing, or develops an itchy rash, seek medical help immediately.
If you find a European wasp nest on public property, please contact us to report it. Residents are encouraged to contact a professional pest controller to safely manage wasps on your property.
Lost, stray or noisy animals
Whether your pet is a dog, cat, rooster, horse or anything with feathers, fur or scales it is your responsibility as a pet owner to keep pets secure and prevent them from causing a nuisance to others.
Requests may be lodged for Ranger Services to assist with lost, stray, noisy or nuisance animals where other attempts have failed.
It is recommended that if an animal is causing an issue that you speak with the animal’s owner directly in the first instance so that they are aware of the problem and can take steps to reduce the problem without Council being involved.
Lost and found animals
If you have lost a dog or cat, please contact Hilltops Council Rangers or the Council office in your local area for information about how to find out if it has been impounded by Council.
If you have found a dog or cat, you may make your own enquiries to find the owner such as asking neighbours, contacting the vets or the lost and found segment on your local radio stations.
If you fail to find the owner within 72 hours, the animal must be turned over to Council so that further attempts can be made to locate the owner. You can also contact Council if you need the animal picked up.
Stock or other animals
If you have lost stock or another animal, please contact Ranger Services on 1300HILLTOPS /1300 445 586 or the Police.
If you have found stock or if stock is causing a safety hazard such as being unattended on a road, please contact Ranger Services immediately on 1300 445 586 or the Police.
If an animal has trespassed onto your property it is recommended that you contact your neighbours to identify the owner. The Riverina Local Land Services may also be able to assist if the animal is tagged.
If you have not been able to identify the owner, Council may be able to assist you in finding the owner or you may privately impound the animal at your expense.
Contact WIRES on 1300 WIRES (1300 094 737).
Barking dogs are the most common nuisance behaviour which Council Rangers respond to.
Other nuisance behaviours may include repeatedly straying animals, destructive cats, crowing roosters or smelly horses.
With all nuisance behaviours it is recommended that you speak with the animal’s owner to resolve the problem before involving Council.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons – when they scared or lonely, or sometimes it is just their way of saying hello.
When a dog’s barking becomes excessive however, it can cause stress and frustration for those living close by.
If you have a barking dog complaint, Council recommends that you first try and contact the dog’s owners to talk to them about your problem. The owner might not realise that their dog is barking excessively, and would be happy to work with you to come to a solution.
Should talking to the owner not be an option, or if the problem is not solved after doing this, you can send your complaint in writing to Council. On receipt of a barking dog complaint, Council will write a letter advising the dog’s owners that a complaint has been received. The owners will be asked to take steps to address the problem, and mitigate the need for any further action by Council.
If these initial attempts to manage nuisance barking are unsuccessful, you will be required to keep a 14 day Barking Dog Diary for submission to Council.
Returned diaries will be reviewed to determine whether further action is warranted. If nuisance barking is identified, further investigations will take place. If no further action is required, the complainant will be notified in writing.
Barking dog information pack
Dogs are present in most neighbourhoods across Australia, and have an important role in our society. From companions to playmates, dogs are valued and, in most cases, loved by their owners. Council recognises and supports responsible pet ownership.
Barking is one of the ways that dogs communicate. It can signify playfulness, distress, danger or an alert to their discomfort. It is quite normal for dogs to bark and barking is usually not considered a nuisance or a breach of the Companion Animals Act 1998.
However, on occasions, some dogs do cause a nuisance through excessive and continuous barking. Nuisance barking is dealt with under Section 32A of the Companion Animals Act 1998.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 provides that the lawful responsibility lies with the owner of the dog. This means that they must ensure that the dog does not create noise by barking or otherwise, to such an extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises.
Nuisance barking can cause people to lose sleep, restrict their movements around a property, and disturb the quiet enjoyment of the home.
There are many factors that may be triggering this type of barking. Some of the possible causes include:
- Being chained to a fixed point without enough room to move or being kept in a confined space;
- Being provoked, deliberately or unintentionally, by people, roaming dogs or other animals;
- Being hungry, thirsty, neglected or being on the wrong diet;
- Kept in circumstances that are unsuitable for that particular breed; and/or
- A dog that is untrained, lonely or sick.
The following points may assist in controlling alleged nuisance barking:
- Dogs need enough room to move. A dog should not be left on a fixed chain for long periods of time. If the dog has to be chained, a running chain should be used;
- Dogs need regular exercise, according to their breed and size;
- Dogs need a place of their own. This can be a well-ventilated kennel or an indoor area;
- Dogs need to be provided with adequate shelter, water and food;
- Remove the direct line of sight between the dog and children or other animals. Looking at these things or other stimuli may provoke barking;
- Take the dog to a recognised dog trainer to discourage bad habits;
- Provide noise insulation for the kennel;
- Seek advice from your vet, your dog may be sick; and/or
- Use a citronella collar.
In the case where nuisance barking is occurring at a property within a residential area, it is reasonable to assume that there would be numerous people affected, and Council would receive complaints from multiple properties.
Effectively dealing with nuisance barking
There are several options to effectively deal with nuisance barking in your neighbourhood.
- Talk to the owner of the dog. The dog’s owner may not realise that their dog is bothering you, and in many cases, will be happy to work with you to solve the problem.
- Mediation. If, after talking to the owner, the problem persists, you should contact the Community Justice Centre (CJC). These specialised, government-funded, independent centres specialise in settling disputes between neighbours without entering into a complicated legal process. Mediation is where you meet with the dog’s owner and a CJC representative to try to solve the problem.This process will not cost you any money and has a 95 per cent success rate.
You can contact the nearest Community Justice Centre via email: email@example.com or Telephone: Freecall 1800 990 777
- Request further action by council. If mediation is unsuccessful and the nuisance barking is continuing, you may request a barking dog investigation from Council’s Ranger Services.Council’s investigation will be under the provisions of Section 32A of the Companion Animals Act 1998. The investigation will focus on determining the level of nuisance barking and implementing the appropriate action. Please note that council does not action anonymous complaints about nuisance barking.
Barking Dog Diary
If you do choose to involve Council, on receipt of your initial complaint you will need to provide Hilltops Council with the address of the barking dog. Council will then write to the dog owner to inform them of the barking issues and provide them with information to help rectify the problem.
Before council can determine the appropriate action, the level of the nuisance must be determined and documented. To facilitate this process you will be required to compile a Barking Dog Diary for a period of 14 days.
Once the diary has been completed you should return it to council:
Attn: Ranger Services
189 Boorowa Street
Young NSW 2594
This diary will then be assessed and considered to determine the level of disturbance.
If the extent and degree of barking is deemed to be a nuisance, Council will conduct further investigations.
The Diary must be completed over 14 consecutive days.
Each day must be completed, if you are not at home on any given day it should be noted on the diary.
Every page must be signed and dated by yourself and your signature witnessed by another person.
Each recorded day must include the following:
- The location of the barking dog;
- A description of the barking dog;
- The day and date;
- The start and stop times of the barking; and
- A record of the times you were not at home.
Other nuisance animals
Council Rangers will not issue cat traps to customers for nuisance, roaming, or feral cats. Should a cat be lawfully seized and where the owner can be identified the cat will be returned to its owner and advice given to prevent the nuisance behaviour. Unidentified cats will be delivered to Council’s pound.
Roosters are not recommended to be kept in residential areas due to the offensive noise they can create. Owners are encouraged to relocate or surrender them to prevent further action being taken.
Birds kept in a healthy and clean manner are not usually an issue for neighbours. There are standards that can be enforced under Schedule 2 of the Local Government Regulation.
Horses and Pigs
There are standards that can be enforced under Schedule 2 of the Local Government Regulation. Noise, air, land and or water pollution can also be enforced under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act.