Council is responsible for the administration of the Dog and Cat Management Act within its area and to promote responsible pet ownership to enable pets and people to live in harmony. Council maintains a Register of dogs within the area and deals with straying, nuisance lost and found dogs.
The Act imposes penalties to encourage people to look after their dogs and prevent them from becoming a nuisance. Where an owner cannot or will not control a nuisance dog, Council may impose orders to require appropriate action by that owner. New dogs in the area are to be registered with Council by the age of 3 months old or within two weeks of moving from another area. If you are moving, please contact Council with your updated contact details.
Registration is cheaper for desexed dogs or for people with concessions. When walking in public areas dogs are to be under effective control at all times. When walking a dog in a public place, always carry a plastic bag to collect any droppings.
Any lost or found dog or dogs causing a nuisance, wandering at large or responsible for harassing, attacking or chasing should be reported to the General Inspectorial staff immediately on 08 8721 2555.
For further information on responsible dog ownership visit Good Dog SA’s website. http://www.gooddogsa.com/
Dog Parks & Off Leash Areas
There are five off leash dog areas and 1 enclosed Dog Park within the City of Mount Gambier where dogs are welcome to exercise and play off leash.
While in an off leash area; the owner must not allow the dog to rush, chase, threaten, or bite any person or animal. Owners must have voice or hand control of the dog so as to be able to promptly bring the dog under effective control by placing it on a chain, cord or leash if that becomes necessary.
Off leash areas are located at Corriedale Park, Hastings Cunningham Reserve (enclosed dog park also) , Northumberland Reserve (behind the Blue Lake) Frew Park and Don McDonnell Reserve. Please see the map attached below of Dog Off Leash Areas.
The Hastings Cunningham Reserve Dog Park was built in 2015 with support and assistance from The Lions Club, The Men’s Shed, Lakes Rotary and by Council Officers and members. The park has been developed for socialization and exercise of pets and owners in an enclosed area.
Please follow the dog park rules to ensure a safe and enjoyable off-leash experience for you, your dog and others at all times.
Please note the owner of a dog is responsible for their dogs actions at all times including whilst in the dog excercise yard.
Do you have a Barking Dog complaint?
Excessive dog barking can disrupt the quiet enjoyment of adjoining neighbours. Council Officers work with complainants and pet owners to investigate, substantiate and address barking dog complaints. Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their pets are kept under control, with minimal disruption to those living in close proximity
When a barking dog complaint is provided to Councils Authorised Officers, they give the complainant a diary to record and monitor the barking over a period of time. Authorised Officers will work with the owner of the barking dog to determine the cause and give advice regarding the means of keeping it quiet and modifying the behaviour of the dog.
Authorised Officers will handle each complaint on a case to case basis. Please download the Barking Dog Complaint Kit, or alternatively ring us and we can send one to you. There is a “Dear Neighbor Letter” attachment that may enable your complaint to be easily and quickly solved.
Wandering & Lost Dogs
Dogs found wandering at large by Authorised Officers will be returned to the owner (traceable through the registration disc/microchip) whenever possible or delivered to the South East Animal Welfare League. Where a dog is repeatedly found to be wandering at large the owner will be required to secure the animal such that it is kept under control and continual expiation notices may be issued, or a Control Order issued.
Council will issue warnings and/or expiation notices for lost and wandering dogs as appropriate.
The South East Animal Welfare League is situated just past the Airport on Penola Road.
They can be contacted on 08 8723 9133. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9:00am to 11:30am and 4:00pm to 5:00pm, Weekends 9:00am to 12:00pm, Closed on Public Holidays.
Council Officers are available to collect found restrained dogs or attend to dog attacks after hours. Please call our Council Office and After Hours Call Centre on 08 8721 2555.
Please ensure that your animal is wearing a registration tag at all times to assist in immediate identification and return. If you misplace or need a replacement animal registration tag, please call in to Council's Customer Service. You can receive expiation if your dog is not wearing their current registration tag.
I have lost my dog what should I do?
If your dog goes missing you should contact your local Council as soon as possible and advise them that your dog is missing. If your local Council has found your dog, they will hold (impound) it for 72 hours to allow you to claim it. If you have not claimed your dog after 72 hours under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 the dog becomes the property of the South East Animal Welfare League. . The Council is required to post a ‘Notification of Detention of Dog’ The Notification of Detention includes a description of the dog and details about where it was found.
If your dog is registered, the Council will be able to call you and let you know they have found your dog. For this reason it is very important to keep your dog registered and your contact details up to date. Also remember to update your microchip contact details.
Your pet should be wearing their registration tag, preferably with an identification tag. Many pet owners think that collar ID tags are unnecessary if their pets are microchipped. This is not true. If a lost dog is wearing collar identification and is found by a member of the public, it can be reunited with its owner without going to a Pound or Vet clinic to be scanned for a microchip. To release your dog from a pound, you must pay pound release fees. Expiations may be also issued.
Do I have to have my dog on a leash?
Yes, you must have your dog on a leash of no more that two metres in all public places and in private places where you do not have the consent of the occupier to have your dog off-leash. Dogs must be on leash when walking along all public roads and footpaths unless otherwise signposted.
You can have your dog off-leash in ‘off-leash’ areas that are designated by Council. Even when off-leash, your dog must be under ‘effective control’ which means it returns when called and obeys commands. If your dog is not under effective control, you can be required to keep your dog on a leash in an off-leash area. Dogs that are not on a leash in a on-leash area or are not under effective control are considered to be wandering at large which incurs a maximum of penalty of $250 for a first offence and maximum penalty of $750 for a second offence.
Your dog does not have to be on a leash if it is inside a vehicle, tending stock and is a registered working dog, or if it is participating in a trial, show or class.
Does a dog have to be restrained when travelling in a motor vehicle?
Under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, dogs do need to be restrained if travelling in the open tray of a utility truck (ute) or similar vehicle. This means being transported in a cage or similar enclosure or tethered to the vehicle so that the dog cannot fall or escape from the vehicle. This does not apply to an accredited guide dog or a dog that is being used in the droving or tending of stock or is going to or returning from a place where it will be or has been so used.
There is no requirement for a dog to be restrained when travelling in other vehicle types. However, it is important to note that under the Animal Welfare Act 1985 it is an offence to commit an act which "intentionally, unreasonably or recklessly causes the animal unnecessary harm". Owners should therefore consider restraining dogs travelling in motor vehicles so that they are not unnecessarily harmed in the case of an accident.
Are there any dog breeds that I am not allowed to own?
There are five prescribed breeds of dog, these are:
The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 requires that if you own a dog that is one of these breeds, it must be desexed and whilst not confined to your premises have a muzzle securely fixed onto its mouth so that it cannot bite a person or animal. It must also be under effective control by physical restraint, which means the dog must be on a leash which is no more than two meters in length. Any person, who sells, gives away or advertises for sale or to give away a dog of a prescribed breed is guilty of an offence.
The maximum penalty for a breach of Section 45B (prescribed breeds) of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 is $2500 per offence.
Do I have to register my dog?
Yes, under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, all dogs over three months old must be registered annually and within 14 days of you taking possession of the dog.
How old do I have to be to register a dog?
A person must be aged 16 years or over to register a dog.
I have just moved house do I need to re-register my dog with the new Council?
Yes, you must notify your new council within 72 hours that the dog has moved to different premises. Failure to obey the registration law can incur an expiation fee of $80 or a $250 penalty and an additional penalty for every 14 days the registration fee remains unpaid. You must also notify your previous council that the dog is no longer in the previous premises. If you are moving to South Australia from interstate you must register your dog with your local council even if previously you had lifetime registration. Lifetime registration is non-transferrable.
What do I do if my dog dies?
It can be very sad and traumatic to lose a beloved pet. However, there are a few things that you will need to do including notifying your local Vet and your Council that your dog has died so that they can remove his/her details from the dog register. If your dog is microchipped you will also need to notify the microchip registry.
What do I do if my dog or I are attacked by another dog?
It is an offence under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 for a dog to attack or harass a person or animal.
If you or your dog is attacked by another dog, once you are safe, try to get as many details as you can about the dog and report the attack to your local council as soon as possible. Councils can investigate dog attacks and impose penalties on the dog owner as appropriate. If safe, record the registration tag details or if the owner is present and approachable, get their name, address and telephone number. Record the colour, breed and size of the dog and take a photo if safe. The more information you provide to the Council's Animal Management Officers the more likely it is that they will be able to identify the dog that attacked you.
In the case of a serious attack where you or your dog has been injured you should also call the police who are authorised under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 and can provide immediate assistance in an emergency.
Scoop the Poop
Dog owners must pick up after their dog when in public and dispose of the waste appropriately.
Council provides some dog waste bins in our off leash areas however owners are responsible for carrying their own plastic bags or scooper. There are free doggy bags available in dispensers at the off leash dog parks, and at Council’s offices. Failure to remove dog faeces can cost you $55, so another great reason to pick up after your pooch.
Benefits of Desexing
There are many advantages in de-sexing dogs and cats:
Further, de-sexed animals that find their way into the general environment as wild animals will not increase the population of such animals (eventually becoming feral) with their consequential impact on native animals.
For a reduced rate for desexing please apply to National Desexing Network on their website. http://www.ndn.org.au/
The Dog and Cat Management Act sets out a number of offences for which the owner or person responsible for the control of a dog can be fined. These include the dog:
Some of these requirements do not apply to Guide, Hearing & Disability Dogs.