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Dog Control and Ownership

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 three months old or within two weeks of moving from another area. If you are moving, please contact Council with your updated contact details.

Dog Registrations now fall under two simple categories:

Standard Dog – A dog that is both desexed and microchipped Non-Standard Dog – All other dogs

City of Mount Gambier has chosen to apply discretionary rebates, (Concession, Trained, Desexed Only, Microchipped Only) – please refer to list of fees.

The Dog & Cat Management Board will also be introducing Dog & Cat Reforms as of 1 July 2018 which requires ALL new generations of dogs and cats, (born after 1st July 2018) to be desexed and ALL dogs & cats over a certain age to be microchipped. Please see What you need to know - Dog & Cat Reforms - 1st July 2018.

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 Inspectorate staff immediately on 08 8721 2555.

For further information visit Good Dog SA.

Dog Control Information

There are six off leash dog areas and one 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, Blue Lake Sports 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 socialisation 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.

  • Respect all park users,
  • Ensure your dog is registered,
  • Ensure your dog is vaccinated to help keep them healthy,
  • Maintain effective control and supervise your dog at all times,
  • Remove your dog if it annoys, intimidates of becomes aggressive towards other dogs,
  • Adults must supervise children at all times,
  • Clean up after your dog and dispose of waste appropriately,
  • Maximum of two dogs per person,
  • Make sure your dog is already socialised, and
  • Avoid bringing toys and food into the park.

Please note the owner of a dog is responsible for their dogs actions at all times including whilst in the dog exercise 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 Council's 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 dog's behaviour.

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.

Dogs found wandering at large by authorised officers will be returned to the owner (traceable through the registration disc/microchip) whenever possible. 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. An expiation fee of $210 may apply.

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. From 1 July 2018 your new renewal will contain your animal lifetime registration tag. If you misplace or need a replacement animal registration tag, please call the Dog and Cat Management Board to order a replacement. Alternatively you can have your lifetime animal registration number engraved onto a metal disc from a local supplier. You can receive an expiation if your dog is not wearing their current registration tag.

Dog owners must pick up after their dog when in public and dispose of the waste appropriately as per By Law No. 5 - 2018.

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 offices. Failure to remove dog faeces can cost you $210.

It is now an offence to sell, supply, distribute or manufacture oxo-degradable plastic products in South Australia, therefore Council has changed all dog waste bag dispensers to a more environmentally friendly alternative.

City of Mount Gambier’s By Law No. 5 - 2018 - Dog Controls 11. No person is to allow a dog under that persons control, charge or authority to be in a public place or on Local Government Land unless that person has in their possession a bag or other suitable container for the collection and lawful disposal of any faeces that the dog may deposit (for the purpose of complying with their obligation under section 45A (6) of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995). By Law Breach: $67.

All animals born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed as outlined in Dog and Cat management Act 1995 (Part 4), Dog and Cat Management Regulations 2017 (SA).

There are many advantages in desexing dogs and cats:

  • Desexed pets tend to live longer, healthier lives as the incidence of health problems are reduced,
  • Domestic animal breeding with stray animals is reduced,
  • Males show a significant reduction in aggressive, dominating and territorial behaviour,
  • Wandering is significantly reduced, and
  • Desexed dogs are much easier to control and any problems are generally easier to overcome due to reduced hormonal responses.

Further, desexed 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

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:

  • Wandering at large,
  • Unregistered dog,
  • Attacking, harassing or chasing a person or animal (although it may be permissible in the defence of property),
  • Attacking a person lawfully entering premises,
  • Being in a school, kindergarten or child care centre,
  • Being in a shop (but not a pet shop, veterinary office or dog grooming parlour) or a place where food and drink is sold or prepared,
  • Chasing a vehicle, and
  • Defecating in a public place (unless the person with control of the dog immediately removes and disposes of the faeces).

Some of these requirements do not apply to Guide, Hearing & Disability Dogs.

Expiations - Old vs New