Rights and Responsibilities
What are my responsibilities as a dog owner?
As the owner or person in charge of a dog, you have certain responsibilities and legal requirements. These include:
- registering a dog that is over the age of six months
- microchipping a dog that is over the age of six months
- keeping your dog on a lead at all times unless in a specified off lead exercise area
- ensuring that the dog does not roam and that it is under your effective control at all times
- restricting your dog sufficiently whilst it is in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle
- preventing your dog from rushing at or chasing a moving vehicle or bicycle whilst in a public place
- making sure that a bitch on heat is confined away from public places
- cleaning up after your dog
Does my dog have to wear a collar?
Under the Dog Control Act 2000 the owner or person in charge of a dog, other than a guide dog or hearing dog, must ensure that the dog is wearing a collar whilst in public.
The dog's current registration tag is to be attached to the collar. It is an offence for anyone, without a good reason, to remove a collar from a dog that is in a public place.
This provision does not apply to dogs engaged in:
- obedience or agility trials
- training for any of the above activities
Does my dog have to be on a lead in public areas?
The Dog Management Policy have strict requirements for when a dog is on or off lead. Please make yourself familiar with these areas to avoid receiving a penalty notice. In most cases your dog MUST be on a lead and under effective control when in a public place.
A dog is said to be under effective control only if the lead is less than two metres long, and if the person is of a sufficient age and strength to control the dog.
If a dog is tethered to a stationary object, it must be by a lead which is less than two metres long and for a period not exceeding 30 minutes.
Where can I exercise my dog?
The Dog Management Policy provide areas for the exercising of dogs, subject to any specified conditions.
Please refer to the Dog Management Policy for maps and any restrictions for these areas. Maps are also available separately on the development/animals/dog-management-policy section of Council's website. If you are unable to interpret the information, please do not hesitate to contact council on (03) 6376 7900 for further assistance.
Are there areas where my dog is not allowed?
As well as earmarking areas for exercising dogs, the Dog Management Policy lists the areas where dogs are prohibited. These can include areas of sensitive habitat for native wildlife. This does not apply to guide dogs or hearing dogs.
Council has also declared areas where dogs are restricted from entering:
- during specified hours, days or seasons
- during specified hours, days or seasons, unless they are on a lead
There are other public places where dogs are prohibited. These include:
- any grounds of a school, preschool, kindergarten, creche or other place where children assemble, without the permission of the person in charge of that place
- shopping centres and other shops
- the grounds of a public swimming pool
- any playing area of a sportsground on which sport is being played
- within 10 metres of a children's playground
This does not apply to:
- a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person, or is in training for that purpose
- a hearing dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially deaf person or is in training for that purpose
- a pet shop
- the premises of a veterinary surgeon
- a pet-grooming shop
- any other premises related to the care and management of dogs
Do I have to clean up after my dog?
When exercising your dog in a public place you are always required to clean up after them. Dog faeces are unpleasant and damage the environment. Cleaning up can be done simply and easily with the aid of a scooper or plastic bag and placing the faeces into the nearest rubbish bin.
This does not apply to a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person.
Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a fine.
Doggy Doo bins are provided in some areas of the municipality so please use these where available.
Dog faeces contain E-coli bacteria which can cause ongoing illness in people including vomiting, diarrhoea and ear, nose and throat infections.
Please clean up after your dog.
Can my dog be removed from my property?
If an authorised council employee has reason to believe that a dog owner has breached a provision of the Dog Control Act 2000 or the Dog Management Policy, then he or she is legally able to:
- enter onto land owned or occupied by the dog owner, but not any dwelling on that land; and
- search for and seize any dog on that land
If the authorised person wishes to enter a dwelling on that land, he or she is able to do so by a warrant issued by a magistrate.
How many dogs may I keep?
Under the Dog Control Act 2000 you are required to apply for a kennel licence if you intend to keep:
- more than two dogs over the age of six months; or
- more than four working dogs over the age of six months
If you have more than the allowable number of dogs then you must apply for a kennel licence, failure to do so may result in a hefty fine.
An application form for a kennel licence is available by contacting the Council office on (03) 6376 7900 or by printing the form on this web page. To apply for a kennel licence, an application form must be submitted and an administration fee paid. The application is to be advertised in a local daily newspaper (The Examiner) at the applicants own expense. A copy of the appropriate wording required for the advertisement is supplied in the application document. Council will also require the original newspaper clipping of the advertisement to be submitted with the completed kennel licence application.