Dogs & Cats

The City of Unley has developed the Animal Management Plan 2016-20. This plan is a requirement of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 and its purpose is to guide the City of Unley's management of dogs and cats from 2016-2020.

Dog & Cat Reforms

New laws for cat and dog owners and breeders have been introduced in South Australia including:

  • the compulsory desexing of all dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018 and
  • compulsory microchipping of all dogs and cats irrespective of their date of birth.

Dogs and Cats Online has now become the central online service all dog and cat management services, including registration payments*, contact details, microchipping and breeder registration.

For a handy overview of the changes that may affect you, download the Reforms Factsheet.

*Cats do not need to be registered in the Unley Council area however microchipping details will need to be recorded in Dogs and Cats Online.

Dog Registrations

Dogs and Cats Online is a one-stop online service for all registration payments, microchipping and breeder information.

It has replaced 68 individual Council dog registers and serves as a single online database that is accessible 24/7 for registration, microchipping and breeder information.

All registered dogs have been transferred from our system to Dogs and Cats Online. For dog registration renewal you will receive a notice in the post mid-July with a unique code on it.  The unique code needs to be entered into Dogs and Cats Online, along with the surname to proceed to create an owner profile.
 
Once you check your details are correct and enter in any concession information for the dog registration fee will be automatically calculated. You may then proceed to pay your dog registration.
 
Step by step instructions

The following instructions will assist you through the transition to the new system.


Each year the owner of the registered dog will be sent a renewal notice via their nominated method of email, SMS or post. There will still be an annual registration fee for your dog.

Please note: You will not be able to renew your dog registration until you have received your renewal notice with your unique code. If you have not received your registration renewal notice by end of July please contact Council on 8372 5111.

  • Registering a NEW dog
    Dog registration is mandatory in South Australia.  If you obtain a dog older than three months of age, then you have 14 days in which to register the dog. It doesn’t matter at what time of year your first registration is done.

    The registered owner of a dog must be over 16 years of age.

    To register your new dog please log onto Dogs and Cats Online. When registering, please ensure that you have with you:
    • An email address
    • Drivers License
    • Any concession cards (your card number will be automatically validated upon entry)
    • Microchip No. (15 digits)
    • Desexing Certificate
    • Training Certificate (must be level 2 to be applicable for any rebate).

    Step by step instructions


    The following instructions will assist you through the transition to the new system.

    How to register as a NEW owner

    Each year the owner of the registered dog will be sent a renewal notice via their nominated method of email, SMS or post. There will still be an annual registration fee for your dog.
  • Payment Options
    Online
    Go to Dogs and Cats Online to renew the registration using your credit card, debit visa/mastercard or BPAY and the renewal code.

    By telephone
    Registration Renewals can be paid by phoning 8372 5111 during business hours, quoting your credit card details. (If you have more than 1 renewal notice you must pay each as a separate transaction).

    In person
    Please note: if you are applying for a concession, please remember to bring in your appropriate documentation.

    City of Unley
    181 Unley Road
    UNLEY SA 5061
    8.30am– 5pm Monday to Friday
     
  • Change of Address
    Any changes that you need to make to your address, contact details or where your dog is staying or if you are away for holidays can be made on Dogs and Cats Online.
  • Registration Discs
    From 1 July 2018, all dog registrations will be issued with a permanent registration number. This number will remain with your animal regardless if you change Council areas or transfer of ownership.

    A lifetime disc will be forwarded along with your renewal notice or certificate of registration.
  • Compulsory Microchipping

    The introduction of new laws from 1 July 2018 will help you manage your pets and keep them safe. Law changes include the compulsory microchipping of all dogs and cats, irrespective of their date of birth.

    Microchipping helps lost pets, including older dogs and cats, find their way home faster. It’s a simple procedure that can occur at any age.

    If you have any concerns in relation to your pet, please contact your vet to discuss.

    Exemptions

    From 1 July 2018, registered veterinary surgeons will be able to exempt a dog or cat from microchipping (or desexing) if satisfied the procedure would pose an undue risk to the health of the dog or cat, or adversely affect the growth, development or wellbeing of the dog or cat.

    If your pet is exempted, you can record this directly into Dogs and Cats Online from 1 July 2018.

    Discount Microchipping

    In addition to visiting your vet, Chip Blitz offers $10 microchipping events at locations around South Australia. Visit the Chip Blitz website to find a location near you.

    For more information on microchipping, visit the Dog and Cat Board website.

  • Compulsory Desexing
    The introduction of new laws from 1 July 2018 will help you manage your pets and keep them safe.

    Law changes include the compulsory desexing of all dogs and cats, born after 1 July 2018, by a registered veterinary surgeon. This must take place:
    • before the pet is 6 months of age; or
    • within 28 days after the owner takes possession; or
    • if the owner is granted an extension of time, before the day specified.

    Exemptions
    The following pets are exempt:
    • Dogs and cats born before the 1 July 2018
    • Dogs defined as a “Working Livestock Dog”
    • Dogs belonging to Dogs SA members
    • Cats belonging to a FASA or Cat Fancy of SA members
    • Greyhounds currently registered to Greyhound Racing SA (retired greyhounds are not exempt)
    • Board exemption.

    Vets may also grant you a desexing exemption, based on it posing an undue risk to the health of the dog or cat, or adversely affecting the animals’ growth, development or wellbeing.

    For more information on desexing, visit the Dog and Cat Board website.
  • Registration Fees
      Fee
    Non Standard Dog $85.00
    Non Standard Dog - Concession $42.50
    Non Standard Dog - Trained $68.00
    Non Standard Dog - Trained - Concession $34.00
    Standard Dog $42.50
    Standard Dog - Concession $21.50
    Standard Dog - Trained $34.00
    Standard Dog - Trained - Concession $17.00
    Accredited Assistance Dog no fee
    Racing Greyhound $17.00
    Working Livestock Dog $17.00
    Replacement Disc $10.00
    Fee for Late Registration $10.00
    Business Registration (per dog) $85.00

    Why is my dog classified as a ‘non standard’ dog?
    Council are now required to set two mandatory registration fee categories for dog registration being ‘standard’ and ‘non standard’ dog.

    • A standard dog is a dog that is both microchipped and desexed, attracting a 50% rebate of the full registration fee
    • A non-standard dog is a dog that is not both microchipped and desexed, and attracts a full registration fee.


    As of 1 July 2018

    • All dogs must be microchipped by 3 months of age or within 28 days of acquirement
    • All dogs must be desexed by six months of age or within 28 days of acquirement. (Please note: the desexing requirement will not apply to dogs born prior to 1 July 2018).
  • Concessions
    A concession fee is available to persons who are holders of current:
    • DVA Gold Card
    • Pensioner Card
    • Senior Health Care Card
    • Health Care Card

    Proof is required for fee concessions and your card number will be automatically validated upon entry.
  • Guide, Hearing, Disability Dogs
    The Guide Dog and Hearing dog concessions will be applied to dogs that have been approved by the Dog and Cat Management Board or one of the following entities:
    • Guide Dogs Association of SA
    • Lions Hearing Dogs

    Please contact the Dog and Cat Management Board to have your dog approved as a disability dog on Dogs and Cats Online. Phone 7111 3468, email dcmb@sa.gov.au  or visit the Dog and Cat Board website.
     

Barking Dogs

Dog owners are responsible for the care and well-being of their pet and to ensure that it is safe at all times and well behaved most of the time.

All dogs make noise at some time. However, if you are concerned about the level of noise a dog is creating the first step towards resolving the issue is to try to speak to the owner in a non-threatening manner and try to reach a compromise.

Often the dog owner can be unaware that their dog is causing a nuisance as they may not be at their property when the barking occurs. Most dog owners are willing to work with their neighbours to achieve an amicable outcome.

Print out the letter below and give to your neighbour as a first point of contact if their dog's barking is becoming a nuisance.

  • Simple Tips for Dog Owners to Reduce Barking
    • Make sure that you do not reward your dog for barking too much. Instead, reward the dog when it is quiet.
    • If the dog is barking at people or noises on the other side of a fence, move the dog to another part of the yard, or put up a barrier to keep the dog away from that area.
    • If the dog barks at regular disturbances such as children walking to school or rubbish trucks, keep the dog inside or in an enclosed area at these times.
    • If the dog races along a path or fence barking at passing distractions, put barriers or obstacles in the dog's way to slow it down.
    • Ensure that the dog has adequate exercise and obedience training.
    • If you have a large back yard, enclosing the dog in a smaller area to allow it to relax and wait for your return rather than run about barking, will allow the dog to believe looking after the place is not its responsibility when you are not home. This can be very stressful to dogs, they like to sleep.
    • Ensure the dog has an inviting comfortable shelter/bed/kennel so that it will want to sleep there rather than "guard" the property. Make sure that the dog has food, water and shelter from the weather.
    • If the dog is barking through gaps and cracks in the fence, fill them in.
    • If the dog is barking at people it can see passing by, try blocking the dog's view.
    • Teach the dog to stop barking on command. When the dog is barking give a firm command such as 'cease' and call the dog to you. Praise the dog when it stops barking. If the dog will not listen to you, it will need obedience training.
    • You may like to check the Animal Welfare League's and RSPCA’s web site for further information on "animal training"
    • Visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website for a fact sheet on excessive barking
    • Visit the Animal Welfare League website or phone the League on 8348 1300
    • Visit the RSPCA website or phone the RSPCA on 1300 477 722 

    Remember, dogs bark for many reasons. If these simple tips do not help, seek further advice.

  • Complaints

    If a complaint about a noisy dog is received, the City of Unley may observe the dog to assess whether it is creating a noise that 'persistently occurs to such an extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of others'. (Section 45A, Part 5 of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.)

    Most complaints about noisy dogs received by the City of Unley are handled informally and through mediation. This way all parties are given the opportunity to work towards a resolution before any legal action is taken.

  • Diary Sheets

    The person making the complaint needs to be willing to keep a diary recording the extent and occasions that the dog causes a nuisance. In addition, the person must be prepared to attend Court if necessary to give evidence in order for the Council to proceed when all other measures have been exhausted.

  • Formal Complaints

     

    If the City of Unley is unable to resolve the complaint informally they will commence a formal investigation of the situation that may include speaking with other neighbours who may be affected by the noise of the dog.

    The investigation will include providing the person who made the complaint, the dog owner and surrounding neighbours with Diary Sheets to record the noise of the dog.

    If the information recorded in the Diary Sheets substantiates the claim that the dog is unreasonably interfering with the peace, comfort or convenience of others the Rangers may issue the dog owner with an expiation notice for the alleged offence.

  • First Warning

    Once the nature of the complaint has been substantiated the dog owner will be sent a notice to rectify within 7 to 21 days.

  • Control (Barking Dog) Orders

    If the problem is not resolved the City of Unley may consider issuing a letter informing the owner of Council's intention to issue a Control Order in accordance with the provisions of the Dog and Cat Management Act (1995).

    If the Order is implemented and subsequently contravened the City of Unley can take steps to give effect to the Order. This will most likely lead to prosecution in a Court of Summary Jurisdiction at which the person who made the complaint will be required to attend.

    Dog owners have the right to appeal the intention to issue an Order.

  • Prosecution

    The Council can instigate an immediate prosecution against a dog owner who allows their dog to create a persistent noise nuisance.

    If a person is found guilty the Court has the ability to:

    • Issue a fine
    • Impose strict controls on the owner of the dog
    • Remove the dog temporarily or permanently.
  • Civil Action

    Any person can institute Civil Proceedings against a dog owner in a Court, however, this course of action can only be handled by the complainant and cannot be handled by the City of Unley.

    Complaints and Grievance Procedures
    If you believe that the City of Unley has not handled the matter in accordance with its obligations under the Dog and Cat Management Act please contact us. In the first instance we will seek to resolve any problems.

    Owners may request a formal review of decision (as provided for under Section 270 of the Local Government Act) where a person not directly involved in handling the issue will conduct a review.

    Owners retain the right at any time refer the matter to the State Ombudsman's Office for an investigation.

Dog Exercise Areas

The City of Unley's parks and playgrounds encourage community participation and contribute to fostering a vibrant, safe, cohesive and strong community.

The City of Unley has three types of Dog Exercise Areas:

  • Off-Leash at All Times
  • Off-Leash between 5pm and 10am
  • On-Leash at All Times
  • Off-Leash at All Times

    Dogs may be exercised off-leash at all times at:

    • Goodwood Oval, Millswood
    • Ridge Park (oval area), Myrtle Bank
    • The Orphanage (oval areas), Millswood
    • Unley Oval, Unley
  • Off-Leash Between 5pm and 10am

    Please check for signs indicating designated dog off-leash areas. Dogs may be exercised off-leash between 5pm and 10am at:

    • Everard Park Reserve, Everard Park
    • Forestville Reserve, Forestville
    • Fraser Reserve, Myrtle Bank
    • Fullarton Park, Fullarton
    • Heywood Park, Unley Park (western sector)
    • Howard Florey Reserve, Parkside
    • McLeay Park, Unley
    • Page Park, Clarence Park
    • Scammell Reserve, Myrtle Bank
    • Soutar Park, Goodwood (open play area and south of the east west path)
    • Village Green, Unley
    • Wayville Reserve, Wayville


    IMPORTANT: Dogs can be exercised off their leash provided:

    • No organised sporting activities are taking place
    • The person responsible for the dog maintains ‘effective control’ at all times


    Effective control means:

    • The dog is restrained by a leash of not more than 2m in length
    • The dog responds to command, is in close proximity to the person and the person is able to see the dog at all times
  • On-Leash at All Times

    Dogs must remain on-leash in the following areas:

    • Charles Walk - Linear Walk, Unley
    • Ferguson Avenue Reserve, Highgate
    • Fern Avenue Reserve, Fullarton
    • Glen Osmond Creek - Linear Walk, Unley
    • Hackett Reserve, Parkside
    • Haslop Reserve, Malvern
    • Henry Codd Reserve, Parkside
    • Heywood Park, Unley Park (eastern sector)
    • Katherine Street Reserve, Fullarton
    • Leicester Street Playground (open area), Parkside
    • Morrie Harrell Playground Reserve (open area), Unley
    • North Unley Playground Reserve (open area), Unley
    • Orphanage Park (except for oval areas), Millswood
    • Simpson Parade Reserve, Wayville
    • Soldiers Memorial Gardens, Unley
    • Soutar Park, Goodwood (north of east-west path)
    • Windsor Street – Linear Walk, Unley
    • Yeo Avenue Reserve, Highgate
  • Prohibited Areas

    It is prohibited to allow your dog:

    • Within any enclosed area where there is children’s play equipment
    • Within 3m of children’s play equipment (if the area is not enclosed)
    • In areas listed on sign posts as being prohibited for dogs
    • In areas set aside by the Unley Council for organised game playing
  • Victoria Park (City of Adelaide)
    If you use Victoria Park to exercise your dog, please be mindful that the park has a racing practice circuit that is used by cyclists and peddle prix vehicles. To keep your dog safe, please always put your dog on leash on or near the track when it is in use.

Lost & Found Dogs

This is a record of dogs currently held by the City of Unley. Upon release of a dog, impound fees and registration if required will be charged.
 

Register of Found Dogs

No dogs are currently listed.


Dogs may not appear on the website on the day impounded but will appear with 24 hours. Please check this website regularly and contact our office for any further enquires, please phone 8372 5111.

Expiations may be issued for dogs found wandering at large and/or unregistered.

Found dogs will be transferred to All Pets Boarding Village 92 Mount Barker Road, Mt Osmond, phone 8379 1995.

Any dog not claimed within 72 hours of the time of being impounded will be sent to the Animal Welfare League, 1-9 Cormack Road, Wingfield, phone 8348 1300

  • If your dog becomes lost

    If your dog becomes lost you should act quickly to:


    Under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 any dog that becomes impounded is required to be held by the animal shelters for three working days only and may be sold or put down if not claimed.

    Dogs that are properly identified need not be subjected to this process as they can be quickly returned to their owners. A current telephone number on another disc on your dog's collar is also advisable.

  • If you find a stray dog

    If you find a stray dog, try to contain the animal safely if you can, and contact us on 8372 5111 (if after-hours you will be transferred to our after-hours service). If you are unable to contain the animal, advise us of the description of the dog and its whereabouts. Every endeavour will be made to reunite the dog with its owner.

    It is important you do not keep a stray dog you have found as the animal may have been reported missing and may be in need of medication and you will be preventing authorities from returning the dog to its rightful owner. Only Dog Management Officers appointed by Councils are empowered to deal with stray or wandering dogs.

    Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act 1995 it is an offence to abandon a dog and penalties are severe.

Dog Attacks

What to do if a dog attacks

When safe to do so, please report the dog attack to the City of Unley on 8372 5111Please seek medical or veterinary treatment as required.

We will investigate the incident as soon as practicable. To assist the investigating officer, please keep your own notes detailing:

  • the date, time and exact location of the attack
  • a description of the offending dog - identification or registration disc / breed / colour / sex / markings / collar
  • a description of the owner - identification / name / address / contact phone number / male or female / age / hair colour
  • 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 attack is reported?

    When a dog is reported:

    • We 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.
    • Seek witness statements and other evidence
    • Assess the circumstances and evidence
    • Make a decision for action
    • Issue legal notices as required
    • Inform the parties of the outcome.


    Depending on the severity of the attack, Council may:

    • Issue a warning
    • Impose a control order (Nuisance Order, Dangerous Dog Order, Menacing Dog Order, or Destruction Order) .
    • Impose an expiation of $315
    • Take court action in more serious cases.


    The maximum penalty for a dog attack is $2,500.

    If you have any questions please contact us on 8372 5111.

     

  • You are responsible for your dog’s actions

    The dog's owner or the person who has care and control of the dog is responsible for its actions and behaviour. It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase:

    • a person
    • another animal
    • a bird owned by a person.


    Find out more from the Dog and Cat Management Act, 1995

  • 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:

    • 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
    • socialising your dog from an early age so that it learns how to mix with other dogs and other people in public
    • asking your vet for advice if your dog shows any signs of aggression towards people.
  • More information

    For more information on being a good dog owner, visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website.  

Responsible Dog Ownership

  • Dog Training

    Positive Dog Training run classes at Page Park in Clarence Park and on the Village Green in Unley. Please speak to the trainer to decide the suitable training method for your dog.

    For sessions times visit the Positive Dog Training website or phone 0418 886 698.

  • Prescribed Breeds
    Under the Dog and Cat Management Act special conditions apply to owing the following dogs:
     
    • American Pit Bull Terrier
    • Fila Braziliero
    • Japanese Tosa
    • Dogo Argentina
    • Presa Canario

    Under these conditions the dog must:
     
    • Be desexed
    • Be muzzled
    • Be on a lead of no longer than 2m in length when in a public place

    Any offences accredited to these breeds attract higher penalties than for other dogs.
  • Prescribed Limits
    Under By-Law No 5  Dogs - Part 2 – Limits on Dog Numbers – keeping more than the prescribed number of dogs requires our approval.

    The prescribed number of dogs per premise is 2.

    Permit Applications are subject to a fee as determined by Council's Fees and Charges Schedule.

    On receipt of an application the Council's General Inspector's may undertake an inspection of the subject premises. The purpose of the inspection is to educate the applicant about responsible dog ownership and to determine the suitability of the premises to keep more than the prescribed number of dogs.

    Council may also make contact with adjoining neighbours to ascertain their position on the matter.

    All approvals are subject to conditions including:
    • Housing and exercise areas must be provided appropriate to the size and breed of the dogs
    • The dogs are kept for family enjoyment as part of the domestic activity (dogs kept as a business require Development Approval)
    • Owners undertake to reduce the number of dogs over time to the prescribed limit
    • The property at which the dogs are kept is to be maintained in a sanitary condition at all times
    • The dogs must not become a nuisance to other residents or the general public
    • Registration of the dogs must be maintained at all times
    • That the City of Unley be notified within 14 days if the permit holder or dog(s) move
    Where a permit holder or dog(s) move premises an application to vary the permit is required. Permit Variation Applications are subject to a fee as determined by Council's Fees & Charges Schedule.

    We may at any time vary or revoke this permit in accordance with By-Law 1 - Permits and Penalties.
     
  • Picking up After Your Dog

    Leaving dog faeces on streets, footpaths and parks is smelly, unsightly and can be very unpleasant to step in!

    Dog faeces is a serious litter issue with wide ranging impacts on amenity, health and the environment. Dog faeces carry harmful bacteria and nutrients. When waste makes its way via stormwater drains into creeks, rivers and beaches, it can create unsafe pollution.

    By cleaning up after your dog and using a leash when out walking, you can assist in preserving public open space privileges for both owners and their dogs.

    Cleaning up after your dog is easy. Most Unley parks have dispenser bags available for your use. Please note these bags are not compostable, please dispose of them into provided litter bins, or in your bin at home (but not recycling or green organics bins).

    Compostable dog bags and holders are available for purchase from Council.  Compostable dog bags can be disposed of in your green organics bin. You could also compost dog faeces, either in composting units or in worm farms.

    Under the City of Unley By-law 5, no person is to allow a dog under that person’s 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 collection and lawful disposal of any faeces that the dog may deposit for the purpose of complying with their obligation under section 46A(6) of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995.

Responsible Cat Ownership

New laws were introduced from 1 July 2018 will help owners manage their pets and keep them safe.

Law changes include the compulsory desexing of all cats born after 1 July 2018 and compulsory microchipping of all cats irrespective of their date of birth.

Take advantage of the Chip Blitz programme and book into a location near you offering $10 microchipping per pet.

For further information about caring for your cat, visit the Dog And Cat Management Board Website.
  • Recording Microchipping Details
    Cats in the City of Unley do not need to be registered, however new state laws require microchipping details to be recorded in the statewide register Dogs and Cats Online.

    Please note, the steps to record microchipping details in Dogs and Cats Online are similar to registering a pet. The City of Unley does not charge residents a registration fee for cats.  
     
  • Dealing with Nuisance Cats
    If your neighbour’s cat is becoming a nuisance, we suggest printing out the letter below and giving to your neighbour as a first point of contact. The letter also provides some simple tips for your neighbour to reduce incidents of nuisance.