New laws for cat and dog owners and breeders have been introduced in South Australia including:
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.
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.
The following instructions will assist you through the transition to the new system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As of 1 July 2018
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.
Remember, dogs bark for many reasons. If these simple tips do not help, seek further advice.
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.
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.
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.
Once the nature of the complaint has been substantiated the dog owner will be sent a notice to rectify within 7 to 21 days.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Dogs may be exercised off-leash at all times at:
Please check for signs indicating designated dog off-leash areas. Dogs may be exercised off-leash between 5pm and 10am at:
IMPORTANT: Dogs can be exercised off their leash provided:
Effective control means:
Dogs must remain on-leash in the following areas:
It is prohibited to allow your dog:
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.
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 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, 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.
When safe to do so, please report the dog attack to the City of Unley on 8372 5111. Please 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:
You should also keep copies of any medical certificates/vet or doctor bills as evidence.
When a dog is reported:
Depending on the severity of the attack, Council may:
The maximum penalty for a dog attack is $2,500.
If you have any questions please contact us on 8372 5111.
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:
Find out more from the Dog and Cat Management Act, 1995
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:
For more information on being a good dog owner, visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website.
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.
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.
Cats are generally beloved members of the family that provide endless love and affection to their owners.
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.
Owners must also to record their cats details on the DACO (Dogs and Cats Online) website.
Take advantage of the Chip Blitz programme and book into a location near you offering $10 microchipping per pet.
If your cat is not adequately confined to your property then it is likely that your cat will wander onto neighbouring properties. This can sometimes cause a number of issues for your neighbours. As the owner of a cat, it is your responsibility to ensure that your cat does not cause a nuisance.
In extreme cases Council can take formal action against a cat owner if it is proven that the cat is causing a nuisance.
The definition of a nuisance is set out in the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016, and is defined as any adverse effect on an amenity value of an area that is caused by an animal that unreasonably interferes with, or is likely to interfere unreasonably with, the enjoyment of the area by persons occupying a place within, or lawfully resorting to the area.
It is important to remember that in a lot of cases your neighbour may feel that they have been putting up with the nuisance for a period of time before they felt strongly enough to approach you.
Council acknowledges that these matter can be very emotive and be the source of disputes.
If you are unable to resolve the issue with your neighbour please contact the Council for advice on your rights and legal responsibilities. Council is always there to assist residents in dealing with these matters.
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.
Whilst there are no laws requiring cats to be confined within their property, cat owners are encouraged to do so.
Council acknowledges that cats can cause a nuisance to residents by doing things such as fighting, harassing or attacking other animals. These issues can be annoying and can interfere with your enjoyment of your property.
If your neighbour’s cat is causing you a nuisance you may choose to approach your neighbour about the issue.
It is important to remember that in many cases, even though the nuisance may have been occurring for a while, the owner of the cat may not be aware of the issue.
With this in mind, Council encourages you to seek an amicable resolution.
Council also has powers under the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 to investigate a nuisance being caused by a pet cat.
The definition of a nuisance is set out in the Act, and is defined as, any adverse effect on an amenity value of an area that is caused by an animal that unreasonably interferes with, or is likely to interfere unreasonably with, the enjoyment of the area by persons occupying a place within, or lawfully resorting to the area.
If you are unable to resolve the issue with your neighbour please contact the Council for advice.
If you wish, Council can investigate the issues being experienced to see if they are at a level that would constitute a breach of the Act.
When Council investigates a report of a pet cat causing a nuisance, the case will be allocated to a General Inspector. The General Inspector will provide you with a Cat Nuisance Diary and will require you to provide evidence documenting the type and extent of the nuisance, including how this is unreasonably interfering with your enjoyment of the area.
Council acknowledges that investigations into nuisance cats can be quite time consuming for all involved. However, the cat owner has the right to appeal any formal action taken by Council to the South Australian Civil Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). Therefore Council must ensure that there is sufficient evidence to justify any action taken should an appeal be lodged with SACAT.
Should you require any further information please don’t hesitate to contact Council’s Customer Experience Centre on 8372 5111.
If you think that a cat has decided to take up residence on your property the Council recommends that you do the following:
Speak to your neighbours to determine if the cat belongs to someone
It is important to remember that it is illegal to trap an identified cat. Therefore if you trap a cat that either has identification, or you know who owns the cat, then you must release the cat immediately.
Council does have a limited number of cat cages that can be hired out to residents for this purpose.
Council may provide additional assistance to people that are elderly or disabled and are unable to trap and transport the cats themselves, for further information on this service please contact Council Customer Experience Centre on 8372 5111.
What is the difference between a stray and a feral cat?
Stray cats are cats that have at some stage been a pet. These cats are more likely to be able to be handled and are generally more likely to seek human interaction. These cats may currently be pet cats that are just wandering off of their property or for some reason they have been separated from their family (they may have been lost or abandoned) and are now having to fend for themselves.
Feral cats are cats that have never been domesticated and have always had to fend for themselves normally by killing wildlife and scavenging for food. True feral cats are wild animals and will normally not want any interaction with humans at all.
Make a Payment
Your Say - Communicate, Contribute, Connect
Visit our Community Centres
Search the Unley Libraries Online Catalogue
Book in a Hard Rubbish Collection
View What's On in our Event Calendar
Forms and Applications
Building & Renovating