Dog ownership laws and fines

Laws relating to dog ownership are set out by the Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Companion Animals Regulation 2008.

  • All dogs must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or earlier if sold or given away
  • All dogs must be lifetime registered by 6 months of age
  • All dogs must wear a collar and identification tag when outside their property – visit this page to order a free engraved pet tag (conditions apply)
  • A dog that is in a public place must be under the effective control of a competent person by an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and that is being held by (or secured to) the person.
  • Dogs must not be encouraged to attack a person or animal
  • The owner or person in charge of a dog that defecates in a public place, must immediately remove the dog's faeces and properly dispose of them.

Offences and penalties

Below are some examples of common offences under the Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Companion Animals Regulation 2008 encountered by Council, along with their associated penalties.

Offence On-the-spot penalty Local Court penalty
Dog attack Minimum penalty: $1,320 Maximum penalty: $11,000 – $77,000
Dog in a prohibited place ^ Minimum penalty: $330 – $1,760 Maximum penalty: $1,100 – $11,000
Dog not on lead Minimum penalty: $330 – $1,760 Maximum penalty: $1,100 – $11,000
Animal not permanently identified (microchipped) Minimum penalty: $180 – $1,320 Maximum penalty: $880 – $5,500
Animal not registered Minimum penalty: $330 – $1,320 Maximum penalty: $5,500 - $7,700
Dog without a collar and name tag Minimum penalty: $180 – $1,320 Maximum penalty: $880 – $5,500
Fail to remove dog faeces Minimum penalty: $275 Maximum penalty: $880

^ Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, a prohibited place is:

  • Within 10 metres of a children's playground
  • Within 10 metres of a food preparation area
  • A recreation area ordered by Council as an area for public recreation or the playing of organised games where dogs are prohibited
  • A public bathing area ordered by Council as an area for public bathing or public recreation (including a beach) where dogs are prohibited
  • A school ground
  • A child care centre
  • A shopping area ordered by Council as an area where dogs are prohibited
  • A wildlife protection area ordered by Council as an area for the protection of wildlife where dogs are prohibited

 

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Page last updated: 12 Nov 2018