As a dog owner you are responsible to ensure your dog is well looked after and does not cause a nuisance in your neighbourhood.
Dog owners are required after new dog laws were introduced from 1 July 2018 to have their dogs’ microchipped and desexed with details to be registered on the statewide database called Dogs and Cats Online.
New legislation changes introduced from 1 July 2018 has changed the way dog owners register their dogs in South Australia with the introduction of Dogs and Cats Online, a central database for microchipped and registered dogs and cats, breeder registration and registration payments. These new laws are designed to simplify the dog registration process, make it easier to reunite lost dogs with their owners, and help identify and put a stop to puppy farms and reduce euthanasia rates.
Users and owners have 24/7 access to the online database.
Dogs in Public Places
All dog owners are legally responsible for their pet’s behaviour in the community.
Please ensure when walking your dog on the footpath or a road, that it is always restrained using a leash no more than 2m in length. When exercising your dog in a designated "off leash” reserve, it is a requirement your dog is under effective control.
Your dog must not enter a school, kindergarten, childcare centre or shop without appropriate permission.
You must also ensure your dog does not attack, chase or harass other people, dogs or animals including birds and native wildlife.
Greyhounds must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public places, including off-leash areas like dog parks and beaches. You can apply for a muzzling exemption from the Dog and Cat Management Board. Even if exempted from wearing a muzzle your greyhound must still be kept on a leash at all times in public places.
You must also clean up after your dog. Dog droppings pose a health risk to the community and other dogs. By law, you must immediately clean up after your dog in public places. Failure to do so can incur an expiation.
What is effective control of your dog?
Effective control of a dog that is “Off Leash” means that:
- The owner/person responsible for the dog can voice control their dog in a manner that ensures the dog will obey.
- The dog needs to remain in close proximity and in sight of the owner/person responsible, at all times.
- When the dog is called (one call only), the dog should immediately respond and return to its owner/person responsible.
- The owner/person responsible should be able to display control over the dog with verbal commands only (not physically holding the dog).
Dogs on leash must also be kept under effective control in all public places and where legislation or By-laws require a dog to be on a physical restraint - a dog is still required to be under the effective control of a person. In these situations “Exercising Effective Control” is by means of voice command and physical control. The physical control of the dog must be by means of a chain, cord or leash that is no longer than 2m in length”. In these situations, "Exercising Effective Control" requires the person restraining the dog to be physically able to control the behaviour of the dog.
Each Dog will be issued with a permanent registration number when first registered on Dogs and Cats Online. A grey registration disc, displaying the permanent registration number, will be posted out to you 15 days following payment. This number will remain with the dog for life, even if you or your dog moves to another Council area or there is a transfer of ownership.
Council will no longer be issuing annual discs. If your dog’s registration disc has been lost or damaged, or you do not wish to use the supplied plastic disc, you can purchase your own metal disc, badge or tag and have it engraved with your dog’s registration number. It is also recommended to include your contact name and number on the disc. Or if you lose your grey registration disc you can order a replacement disc through Dogs and Cats Online for a fee.
Each year Council will still be responsible for setting the dog registration fees which are outlined in Council’s Fees and Charges Schedule adopted by Council each year.
Note: Concession card holders are required to supply a valid concession card number to be eligible to receive the 50% discount on all registrations.
Concession cards accepted:
- Health benefits or concession card issued by the Commonwealth
- Pension concession card issued by the Commonwealth
- Concession card issued by Family and Youth Services
- Totally and permanently incapacitated Disability Pensioner
- British Commonwealth Service Pensioner in receipt of a pension form and assessed as eligible by the Commonwealth Department of Veteran Affairs
- Commonwealth Unemployment or Sickness Benefits or State financial assistance
A renewal notice will be sent to registered dog owners each year in July via their nominated method (email, sms or post). The registration fee is calculated based on the information entered into Dogs and Cats Online and payable before the 31 August each year. The online system will also prompt owners to check and confirm that all details are correct.
To register, renew or to update your Dogs’ details visit Dogs and Cats Online.
This short YouTube video shows you how to renew your dog online yourself easily:
Where a dog is permanently lost or dies a refund may be considered upon written request to Council by completing the Dog Registration Fee Refund Application form . Refunds will only be considered between 1 July and 30 September or within one month of registration. The refund will be for 88% of the registration fee and does not include late or replacement disc fees.
- Where a dog becomes deceased within one month of registration fee being paid, up to 88% of the fee paid may be refunded.
- Proof required is a vet certificate or statutory declaration to be included with this application.
- A refund will not be granted if the owner became eligible for concessions after the registration renewal fee was paid.
- Eligibility to claim concessions must be provided at the time of registration or prior to renewing the registration. A refund will not be granted if this eligibility had not been provided.
- Refunds will not be granted if the dog is given to a new owner or returned to the place of purchase.
Dog owners that do not have access to a computer can come into the Council Administration Office, Level One, Civic Centre, 60 Tasman Terrace, Port Lincoln and staff will be able to assist in registering, renewing and updating your dogs’ information. Or you can complete and lodge the New Owner Application Form 1-71-T5 at the Council Office with the prescribed registration fee.
If you have any questions relating to the new Dog and Cat Laws you can find out more at www.dogandcatboard.com.au or please contact the Council Office on 8621 2300.
Council has a By-law for dogs in the Port Lincoln area that limits the number of dogs that can be kept on any premises to control and manage dogs in the Council area – refer to our Dogs By-law 2018.
If you wish to have more than two dogs at the same address you must complete and submit the following form to Council for approval.
A permit fee will apply as set out in Council’s Fees and Charges Schedule.
The following points must be adhered to before approval can be given:
- All dogs must be registered and microchipped as required under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, prior to a permit being issued.
- The premises must be suitable for housing the dogs. Consideration must be given to the size of the yard and there must be adequate fencing to keep the dogs contained.
- All applications will be subject to an assessment process including history of dog ownership and one of Council’s Officers may consult with your immediate neighbours.
- An inspection of the property is to be undertaken by one of Council's Officers by appointment to ensure the premises is suitable before a permit will be issued.
Upon approval a permit will be issued which will be applicable for the life of the dogs or until you change address. If you change address please let Council know by completing and returning the following form to Council.
The PDF form can be forwarded to Council either by:
City of Port Lincoln
PO Box 1787
PORT LINCOLN SA 5606
Level One, Civic Centre, 60 Tasman Terrace
PORT LINCOLN SA 5606
Lost a Dog?
If you have found that your dog is missing from its yard or from where he/she was being left, we recommend that you take a drive around the neighbourhood and see if you can locate your dog. If however, you are unable to find your dog, please contact the Council office on 8621 2300 and leave a detailed description of your dog and a Council Officer will keep an eye out and if found will be in contact.
If your dog has no ID of any kind (no collar/microchip/tag) and our Council Officers are unable to determine who the owner of the dog is, these dogs will be listed on the Lost pets of South Australia facebook page. If your dog is showing on the Lost pets of South Australia facebook page it will let you know who to contact to arrange the return of the dog.
We also recommend you contact:
- the RSPCA, in case someone has dropped your dog there;
- the Local Veterinary Clinic, in case it has been in an accident; or
- check on social media, or publish a post to see if a member of the community is holding it.
It is important that if you have lost your dog to contact Council as soon as possible to find out if your dog has already been obtained as may already be waiting to be reunited, or our Council Officers may know where it is being held.
To make sure that your dog can be reunited as soon as possible, you should ensure that your dog is registered each year, always wears a collar and registration tag, and is microchipped with your current details recorded on DogandCatsOnline.
Found a Dog?
If you find a dog wandering at large, taking your safety into account, try and secure the dog and call the Council Office on 8621 2300. A Council Officer who is professionally trained will come around to collect the dog.
Please note: Council Officers will only collect dogs during daylight hours, and when the dog has been contained or held by the person calling about the dog.
Council does discourage holding or keeping a dog that has been found, as there is less chance the dog is promptly reunited with its owners. It is important that members of the public who have found a dog to contact Council as soon as possible, so that the dog can be reunited with its owner.
As of 1 July 2018, all dogs must be microchipped with the details entered onto Dogs and Cats Online. There are no fees for doing this.
If you are an owner of a dog that has been microchipped prior to the 1 July 2018 you are responsible for entering the dog’s microchip number into Dogs and Cats Online. A Vet or microchip implanter who implants a microchip in a dog born after the 1 July 2018 will be able to enter the microchip information into the online system on your behalf.
All dogs must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or at the point of sale (whichever occurs first).
Visit dogandcatboard.com.au if you would like to find out about the benefits of microchipping, the microchipping process and/or microchipping older dogs.
More information can also be found at gooddogsa.com/desexing-and-microchipping.
If you are an owner of a dog born after the 1 July 2018 you must have your dog desexed by a registered veterinary surgeon:
- Before it is 6 months of age; or
- Within 28 days after you take ownership of the dog; or
- If you as the owner of the dog is granted an extension of time, before the day specified in the exemption.
Visit dogandcatboard.com.au for desexing exemptions, the benefits and process of desexing your dog.
More information can be found at gooddogsa.com/desexing-and-microchipping.
If you are breeder and seller of dogs you must be registered with the Dog and Cat Management Board via Dogs and Cats Online if not a registered breeder with Dogs SA.
- Breeders and sellers must also adhere to the new South Australian Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals.
- All dogs for sale must be microchipped.
- All dogs must also be desexed by six months of age.
If you are a breeder and seller, any advertisement you place for the sale of a dog must include your name and telephone number, breeder name and telephone number and the breeder’s registration number if they were registered. Sellers must provide the new owner (buyer) with the following information outlined at www.dogandcatboard.com.au/breeders-sale-of-dogs-and-cats.
For more information on breeding, selling and buying dogs visit dogandcatboard.com.au.
On occasions dog attacks do occur within our community. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to ensure their dog is well contained in their own backyard or if out on a walk to be under effective control to ensure everyone is safe and able to enjoy their time out in nature. It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase a person, or an animal or bird owned by or in the charge of another person (whether or not actual injury is caused).
What should you do if a dog attack occurs?
If you or your dog/animal or bird is attacked by a dog the first thing you should do is seek medical or veterinary treatment for yourself and or your dog/animal or bird as a priority.
When you and your dog/animal or bird is out of danger, you should as soon as possible after the incident report the dog attack to Council by phoning one of our Authorised Officers on 8621 2300.
Time is critical to report the incident. This is especially important if the offending dog is wandering at large and still poses a risk to the public or other animals.
What information do I need to report an attack?
To help Council’s Authorised Officers, you should try and gather as much information as you can:
- The date, time and exact location of the attack. If you are not sure, use your GPS equipped smart phone to check on a map;
- A description of the offending dog – registration disc, name tag, breed, colour, sex, any markings, collar size and collar;
- A description of the owner – name, address, contact phone number, male or female, age, hair colour, clothing;
- If a car was involved and the offender drove away with the dog – car registration number, make, model and colour;
- A description and photographs of any injuries and location on your body or your dog/animal or birds’ body; and
- You should keep copies of any medical certificates, vet or doctor bills as evidence.
What happens after I report a dog attack?
Council’s Authorised Officers may take a statement or affidavit from you and may take photographs of any injuries to yourself, or your dog/animal or bird.
The owner of the dog which attacked will be contacted to get their side of the incident and Council’s Authorised Officers may seek any witness statements and other evidence applicable to the investigation.
Authorised Officers will issue legal notices as required and inform all parties of the outcome.
Depending on the severity of the attack, Council can:
- Issue a warning to the dog owner
- Impose an on the spot fine
- In more serious cases take direct court action
- Impose a control order for Nuisance, Dangerous Dog, Menacing Dog, or a Destruction Order.
The maximum penalty for a dog attack is $10,000.
For information on how to be a responsible dog owner visit www.gooddogsa.com.
Dogs bark for number of reasons. They can bark because of separation anxiety, boredom, changes to lifestyle, health problems, noise from neighbours and construction work in the neighbourhood.
If you are a neighbour experiencing problems with a barking dog, there are ways to resolve issues
Contact the Owner
Often, dog owners are unaware that their dog is barking. A simple visit to your neighbour to inform them of the situation can be an easy fix. Face-to-face visits are most effective. But if you are uncomfortable, you can leave note in your neighbours letter box. Here is a template you can use - Letter to neighbour about Barking Dog 1-71-T68
Involve the Council
If you don't reach a resolution, we can assist in two steps.
First, we'll contact the dog owner and highlight the complaint received. We work with the dog owner to ensure the dog's physical and mental welfare needs are being met.
Our Community Safety Officers make suggestions for strategies that can reduce barking. Please allow time for the dog owner to make changes to their backyard, house or lifestyle.
If the barking persists after several weeks, please contact the Council again. We'll undertake a more formal investigation.
We'll send you an information kit with a diary to record details of the barking behaviour for 14 days. When this is complete, return it to Council for investigation.
If the problem persists, and proof that excessive nuisance barking is found, an order may be served on the owner. This legally requires them to take all reasonable steps to reduce the noise.
Need more information
If you have any questions or concerns regarding dogs, please contact:
City of Port Lincoln
Environment & Regulatory Services Team
9.00am - 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
Phone: 8621 2300