Melbourne dog owner is hit with massive fine after breaking a little-known rule – and you won’t believe what it was for

A dog owner has been left stunned by a substantial fine for breaching a little-known law on her own property. 

Judy Murphy, 79, from Sandringham in southern Melbourne, was fined for having her five-year-old Maltese Shih Tzu called Clarrie off the lead while they stood in the communal driveway of their units.

There had been previous complaints about the dog being unrestrained, and a neighbour reported her to Bayside City Council, with a photo sent in as evidence.

Ms Murphy said she then received a $288 fineve-year-old pup was ‘off lead’. 

A frustrated neighbour sent the local council a photo Of Judy Murphy’s Maltese shi tzu, Clarrie, standing in her driveway without a leash 

‘He wasn’t going anywhere,’ Ms Murphy said. 

‘He was just looking for his mates, I think. He’s my best little mate and wouldn’t hurt a fly.’

One neighbour said the fine was ‘totally unreasonable’ while another said Ms Murphy should have only received a warning, but she did need to tie up her dog.

Bayside City Council defended the fine in a statement to 7News. 

‘Council issued an infringement notice to a dog owner after receiving multiple complaints about a dog not being securely confined to the owner’s premises,’ it said.

‘Allowing a dog to roam in an unfenced front yard or unsecured open area is an offence against the Domestic Animals Act.

‘The dog owner had been spoken to multiple times and was aware her dog needed to be secured to the property to prevent injury, nuisance or attacks.’

Daily Mail Australia contacted Bayside City Council for comment. 

Ms Murphy 9pictured with her dog) said Clarrie was' just looking for his mates'

Ms Murphy 9pictured with her dog) said Clarrie was’ just looking for his mates’ 

The neighbour who made the complaint was happy with a fine being issued to Clarrie’s owner. 

The complaining neighbour claimed to have spoken to Ms Murphy about her pet multiple times before taking the matter to the council.   

On social media, locals were divided in their reactions to the incident.   

One Facebook user described it as an ‘absolute council overreach’.

Another said the council’s response was ‘absurd’.

‘There’s so many wrongs here, and none of them by that woman or her little dog,’ a third said. 

Some however agreed with the actions of Bayside City Council.

‘Many issues are caused by “sweet little dogs” that are not under control,’ one said.