Dogs

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Dog in park

City of Marion recognises that dogs as pets are a very important part of our everyday life. As companions, they fulfil a vital role in society by providing companionship and unconditional love for their owners.

We are committed to supporting responsible pet ownership throughout the community.

It is important to register your dog each year so that if your dog becomes lost, the City of Marion can contact you to reunite you with your pet. Visit the dog registrations page for more details.

 

Dog attacks or harassment

Council considers all reports of dog attacks seriously and where the attacking dog is still present, will respond as soon as possible.

If the dog attack has occurred previously, a Community Safety Inspector will respond on the next business day.

Council will require the following information:

  • Contact details of the person reporting the incident and witness details. This issue may/will require witness statements so we will require the complainant's name.
  • Name and address details of the dog owner (if known).
  • Date and time of attack.
  • Location of attack.
  • Breed/s of dog/s.

All of the complainant's and witness' details will remain confidential.

Attack in progress/dog at large

A Community Safety Inspector will attend as soon as possible.

If the dog is located and no owner can be identified, the dog is taken to the RSPCA Lonsdale Animal Shelter at 25 Meyer Avenue, Lonsdale. If the owner contacts the RSPCA, they will be advised to contact Council to discuss the incident before the dog can be released to them.

The inspector will take statements from the individuals involved and any witnesses.

What happens when you report a dog attack?

Please report all dog attacks to the Council in which the attack took place.

When a dog attack is reported to the City of Marion, the Community Safety Inspector Team investigates all such reports. Those investigations include interviewing all those who were present, including dog owners and all other witnesses who have been identified. The Inspectors will also take pictures of any wounds sustained by a person or animal involved in a dog attack.

The Inspectors will stay in touch with all persons concerned and update them as new information becomes available.

What is the outcome of an investigation?

There can be different outcomes to an investigation depending on the severity of the attack, the circumstances in which the attack occurred and the location at which it occurred. A warning may be issued, an expiation (fine) may be issued or an order placed on the attacking dog.

What is an order?

Council has the authority to place an order on a dog that has been involved in a dog attack. There are a number of different orders and the requirement of each differ. The requirements of the order may include:

  • Keeping the dog contained on the owner’s premises.
  • The dog may be required to wear a muzzle in public.
  • The dog may have to wear a distinctive collar.
  • In some circumstances the dog may be required to be microchipped and or desexed.

In extreme circumstances a destruction order may be issued.

Who pays my vet bills?

Council has no role to play in the recovery of money relating to your vet bills, this is a private matter between you and the owner of the other dog.

Should you decide to pursue civil action you may wish to contact one of the following:

  • Your own solicitor.
  • Southern Community Justice Service (Phone: 8384 5222).
  • Legal Services Commission of South Australia (Phone: 1300 366 424).

The majority of civil claims are lodged with the Magistrates Court. Their telephone number is 8204 2444.

Please contact the City of Marion Customer Service Centre on 8375 6600 if you would like further information about how the City of Marion deals with dog attacks.

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Barking dogs

Dogs can create an annoyance or nuisance to nearby neighbours by barking. When this situation occurs, it is primarily a dispute between two individuals and may be resolved by having a conversation with the owner of the barking dog to make them aware of the issue.

Many times dog owners are unaware their pet is causing a problem to their neighbours and are happy to put measures in place to reduce the barking when alerted to the issue.

The City of Marion may intervene in some circumstances where evidence supplied by the person affected by the barking indicates a need for Council assistance.

In these circumstances we are able to work with the dog owner to provide advice as to what measures would best reduce barking levels.

Making a complaint

Please be advised that all complaints must be initiated in writing and the below form must be fully completed.

It is important to understand that this form is a legal document which must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, public notary, a commissioner for taking affidavits in the Supreme Courts of South Australia or a member of the police force and may be produced in Court as evidence.

Please see form for more detail.

The complaint form can be submitted to the City of Marion via one of the following methods:

Fax: 8375 6699
Email: council@marion.sa.gov.au
Post: PO Box 21, Oaklands Park SA 5046
In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047

What happens next?

On receipt of the Initial Registration Barking Dog Complaint Form, the Community Safety Team will contact the owner of the dog to inform them of the situation and their responsibilities in regard to ensuring their dog does not cause a nuisance by barking.

Complainant information is kept confidential.

If subsequent complaints indicate there has been no resolution with regard to the nuisance, a barking diary kit will be posted out.

If data recorded in the diary suggests a nuisance the City of Marion may conduct an investigation

Why do I need to complete all this paperwork?

We understand it is frustrating having to fill in a Barking Dog Diary Kit, however it is a Local Government requirement that the diary is completed and received.

The diary ensures a clear understanding of the nature of the issue.

Please note the City of Marion needs to remain unbiased in these situations, therefore requires your independent evidence when investigating a barking dog complaint.

The diary will form part of the evidence presented in Court if appropriate and if Court proceedings are to take place the person making the complaint will be required to appear and give evidence at the hearing.

How long will the investigation take?

Because these investigations are complex, it is preferable to work with the dog owner to provide long term solutions.

We are unable to give you a projected completion date, however we will contact you to update you on the progress of the investigation and the final outcome.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, you are able to seek mediation and or lodge a civil complaint.

Community Mediation Services
Phone: 8350 0376 or 1300 850 650

Legal Services Commission / Legal Aid
Phone: 1300 366 424

Tips for dog owners with barking dogs
  • Placing a radio in the area where the dog is kept on low volume.
  • Keeping the dog inside at night.
  • Giving the dogs more toys and interaction.
  • Daily exercise.
  • Screen off areas in the fence that allow the dogs to see outside of the property.

Please note the above are suggested solutions only. Should your dog be resistant to the above suggestions, other options may include seeking professional advice and/or training.

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Number of dogs permitted

To maintain a balanced living environment for the enjoyment of all residents, Council has limited the number of dogs permitted on each property.

Residents in a small property can have one dog, whilst residents in a larger property can have two dogs.

A small property is defined as a property involving any self-contained dwelling where the property of part thereof (ie flat, home unit, etc) contains a secured unobstructed yard area of less than 100 square metres. 

Should a resident wish to keep more than the permitted number of dogs, an application must be submitted. Each application will be investigated by a Community Safety Inspector and each application is judged on its merits.

Payment of an application fee of $35.00 is due at the time of lodgement. The application form must be completed in full for it to be lodged and assessed.

A Community Safety Inspector will arrange to inspect the property where the dogs will be kept.

The approval process may take up to 4 weeks. Council will advise you of the decision in writing. The approval is only valid for the dogs listed in the application. Approval may be withdrawn if a complaint is received, e.g. excessive barking.

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Dogs in parks and reserves

Dog owners can exercise their pets off-leash in about 150 parks and reserves in the City of Marion.

To ensure the community can continue to use open spaces safely, Council has reviewed its dog exercise areas.

Council endorsed designating 97 parks and reserves on-leash at the General Council meeting of 11 November, 2015.

Currently dogs are not permitted at wetlands, must be on-leash within 5-metres of a playground, or at any park where organised sport is being played.

This map shows open spaces where dogs can exercise off leash and an where they must be on a leash:

This list shows the names and suburb where there are open spaces where dogs can exercise off leash and areas where they must be on a leash:

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Walking your dog
What are the local regulations regarding exercising dogs?

State Government legislation states that a dog must be on a leash by means of a chain, cord or leash that does not exceed two metres in length whilst on public roads, footpaths, and in all public places, except for parks and beaches, unless otherwise specified by Council by-laws.

In parks and on beaches, the dog must be under effective control which is by command, the dog being in close proximity to the person and the person being able to see the dog at all times.

Dogs near organised sport

The City of Marion's By-law number 4 states that no person shall allow any dog to be unleashed on any ground where there is organised sport, during those times when organised sport is being played.

Dogs near a playground

Under the City of Marion By-Law number 4, no person shall allow any dog other than a guide dog, hearing dog or accredited disability dog to be in any children’s playground or allow any unleashed dog within 5 metres of any children’s play equipment.

Dogs on beaches

Whilst some Councils have by-laws limiting the times and conditions under which dogs may be exercised on their beaches, City of Marion does not have such limitations and follows the legislation as outlined above.

On beaches, the dog must be under effective control which is by command, the dog being in close proximity to the person and the person being able to see the dog at all times.

NOTE: The only beaches in City of Marion are Marino and Hallett Cove. Brighton and Glenelg beaches are the responsibility of Holdfast Bay Council (Phone: 8229 9999).

Greyhounds

All greyhounds must be muzzled and on a leash no greater than two metres in length at all times whilst in a public place, unless they have completed the GAP training program (Greyhound Adoption Program) and are accredited by the Dog and Cat Management Board.

Dangerous breeds of dog

Several breeds have been declared 'prescribed breeds' by the State Government due to their characteristics.

These breeds must be under the effective control of a responsible person over the age of 18, be muzzled and on a lease no greater than two metres in length at all times whilst in a public place.

These breeds are:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Presa Canario
Exercising dogs on school grounds

Dogs are not permitted on school grounds (either private or public schools), even if on a leash, unless permission has been granted from the school in advance.

Picking up after your dog

Under the City of Marion's By-law number 4 a person must not, on local government land or on any road or footpath, be in control of a dog, unless the person has, in his or her possession, a bag or other object for the purpose of picking up and lawfully desposing of any faeces that the dog may generate while in that place.

Dog owners are responsible for the immediate removal of any faeces deposited by their dog in any public place. Several of City of Marion's reserves have free plastic bags available from a dispenser to assist dog owners.

Failure to remove dog faeces can result in an expiation fine of $55.00.

Council may investigate complaints relating to dog owners who do not remove dog faeces. Please provide as much information as possible, such as:

  • Complainant details.
  • Dog owner name and address.
  • Where the dog was.
  • Breed of dog.
  • Description of dog.
  • Time and date of the incident.
  • Registration disc number (if possible).

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Training and obedience club

A range of dog training service providers are available and can be sourced through the internet, white pages or yellow pages.

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Dogs in national parks

Dogs are not allowed in the Hallett Cove Conservation Park. They are banned under State Legislation that is administered by the Department and Environment and Natural Resources.

For more information visit the Department for Environment and National Resources website website or phone (08) 8204 1910.

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Further information

For further information:

Should you be unable to find an answer to any of your queries on this site, please contact:

City of Marion
Customer Service Centre
Phone: (08) 8375 6600
Fax: 8375 6699
Email: council@marion.sa.gov.au
Post: PO Box 21, Oaklands Park SA 5046
In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047 

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