There are many benefits to owning a dog. They are great pets, provide companionship, can guard homes, help with farming duties and assist people with hearing, sight or mobility impairments. There is also evidence that pet ownership offers health benefits.
Owning a dog also comes with responsibilities. The City of Victor Harbor is committed to supporting responsible pet ownership.
Council’s Information for Dog Owners brochure provides a brief overview of some of these responsibilities. Further information is provided below.
It is important to register your dog each year so that if your dog is lost, the City of Victor Harbor can contact you and reunite you with your pet.
The dog registration period runs from 1 July to 30 June each year. Renewals are due by 31 August each year. Please be advised that Council will charge a fee of $20.00 for late payment of registrations.
It is a requirement of the Dog and Cat Management Act that all dogs, aged three (3) months or over, are registered. It is an offence to keep an unregistered dog and there is an expiation fee of $170 per unregistered dog.
|CONCESSION NON STANDARD||$42.50|
|PUPPIES UNDER SIX MONTHS||$42.50|
|PUPPIES UNDER SIX MONTHS - CONCESSION||$21.25|
|GUIDE,HEARING OR ASSISTANCE DOGS||$0.00|
|BUSINESS REGISTRATION (BREEDERS)||$85.00|
|LATE REGISTRATION FEE PENALTY||$20.00|
Concessions are available to pensioners and healthcare card holders. To be eligible for concessions, you must provide proof of desexing and microchipping when registering your dog on Dogs and Cats Online (DACO) www.dogsandcatsonline.com.au.
Transferring A Dog Registration
To transfer a dog registration to a new owner visit Dogs and Cats Online (DACO) at www.dogsandcatsonline.com.au.
It is important to register a dog registration transfer to help make sure your pet is returned to you if it is lost.
If you have been reported for keeping an unregistered dog, you will be issued with a Council Expiation Notice for the amount of $170.00 per offence. The expiation allows a payment period of 28 days from the date of the notice.
In addition to receiving an expiation, you are required to register the dog(s) within 14 days. Failure to do so, will automatically result in the issue of a further $170.00 penalty. If for any reason you are unable to comply with the registration requirements within the 14 day period, you should first contact the City of Victor Harbor Council Office to request an extension of time.
You must be atleast 16 years of age to register a dog.
Number of Dogs Permitted
Only two dogs may be kept at a residential house within the township. Dog owners can request an exemption for more than two dogs by completing the Application to keep additional dogs at a premises.
Only one dog may be kept in a flat, unit or small property.
Only three dogs, other than working dogs, may be kept at premises outside the township.
After a dog attack incident, if you or your pet sustains injuries you should seek medical or veterinary treatment as a priority.
When safe to do so, you must report the attack to Council on 8551 0500.
Report the incident ASAP
Like all serious incidents, time is a critical factor in dealing with dog attacks. This is especially important if the offending dog is wandering at large and still poses a risk to the public or other animals. To help Council staff, please try to gather the following information before contacting us:
- the date, time and exact location of the attack. If you’re 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, markings, collar size and colour
- 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, colour
- a description and photographs of any injuries and location on your body or your pet's body.
You should also keep copies of any medical certificates, vet or doctor bills as evidence.
What happens when a dog is reported?
- Authorised Council Officers may take a statement or affidavit from you
- Photos may be taken of any injuries to yourself, or your animals or birds.
- The dog's owner will be contacted to get their side of the incident.
- Council Officers could seek witness statements and other evidence
- Council Officers assess the circumstances and evidence and make a decision for action
- Council will then issue legal notices as required, and;
- Inform the parties of the outcome.
Who is responsible?
As a dog owner you are responsible for your dog’s actions. It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase a person, another animal or a bird owned by a person.
Depending on the severity of the attack, Council can:
- issue a warning
- impose an on the spot fine of $315 as of 1 July 2017
- take direct court action (in more serious cases)
- impose a control order (Nuisance, Dangerous Dog, Menacing Dog, or Destruction Order)
- The maximum penalty for a dog attack is $2,500.
Preventing dog bites
Dogs bite for many reasons. The most common reasons are fear, pain or confusion when mixing with people and other dogs. Ignoring signs of aggression can result in serious injury to you, a member of your family or others. You can discourage biting by:
- socialising your dog from an early age so that it learns how to mix with other dogs and other people in public
- avoiding situations that may cause your dog to become nervous or anxious
- training your dog - obedience classes help you learn about your dog, its body language and how you can communicate with it
- desexing your dog. Research shows that, on average an entire dog is more aggressive. Note that desexing dog will be mandatory (with exemptions) from 1 July 2018.
- asking your vet for advice if your dog shows any signs of aggression towards people.
For more information on being a good dog owner, visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website
Barking dogs are one of the most common complaints received by Council. Excessive barking is deemed to be an offence under the provisions of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995, when the barking persistently occurs or continues to such a degree that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort and convenience of another person.
In the first instance, residents are encouraged to try and resolve the issue with the owner of the dog. In many cases, dog owners may not be aware that their dog barks when they are not home. A politely worded letter or conversation can resolve many issues.
If this proves unsuccessful, you can make a formal complaint to Council. All barking dog complaints must be provided to Council in writing by completing the barking dog diary and declaration form.
Dogs In Public Places
Dogs must always be held on a 2 metre leash when taken to the following reserves: Warland Reserve, Soldiers’ Memorial Gardens, Soldiers Memorial Reserve, John Simmons Park, C M Thorpe Park and John W Crompton Jnr Reserve.
Dogs must also be held on a 2 metre leash while on a street, road or in a public place.
Dogs are not permitted in any public pond or lake in the City of Victor Harbor Council area (including Encounter Lakes).
Dogs On Beaches
Dogs on the beach (where dogs are permitted) must be on a leash between the hours of 10am and 8pm during the daylight saving period.
At all other times dogs must be kept under effective control by either a two (2) metre lead or by voice command. The dog must also be in close proximity to the person with the person being able to see the dog at all times.
Your dog is considered to be under effective control if:
- You can see your dog at all times.
- You are able to control your dog in any circumstance.
- Your dog is in close proximity to you.
- Your dog does not run up to other people or animals without permission.
- Your dog does not chase, harass or cause a nuisance to any person, animal or bird.
- This may mean that to be under effective control your dog needs to be on a lead at all times.
Lost Or Found Dogs
If you have lost or found a dog, please report the information to the City of Victor Harbor immediately on 8551 0500 (this has a 24hr call centre to provide this information).
Council has a dog collection service available 9am - 9pm, 7 days a week
We maintain an up-to-date listing of all dogs that have been lost or found and make every effort to reunite you and your pet as soon as possible.
Victor Harbor Dog Park
The Victor Harbor Dog Park is located on Council land situated on the corner of George Main Road and Oval Park Road, Victor Harbor.
The dog park is open to the general public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a great space for like-minded people to meet, socialize, have a laugh and exercise their dogs. You are welcome irrespective of whether you have a dog or not.
The dog park is a fully fenced area and car parking is available adjacent to the park in the Recreation Centre car park.
The dog park has been divided into large and small dog exercise areas, so you can choose to exercise your dog in either the large area or the small area, whichever area you feel more comfortable in with your dog.
Drinking water is available onsite for your dog from two water stations.
Friends of the Victor Harbor Dog Park
There is now a community group who promote the use of the park and enjoy socialising with other dog owners and their dogs. Find out about what the group is up to via the Friends of the Victor Harbor Dog Park Facebook page. The Facebook page is a great way to keep up to date with what is happening at the park, and to share your dog stories and pictures.
New dog and cat laws
New dog and cat laws have recently been introduced in South Australia. Find out more about these changes and how you are affected.
The www.gooddogsa.com website is a great information source for dog owners.
Strategic Plan - Dog & Cat Management Plan 2013 - 2018