After a dog attack, you should seek medical or veterinary treatment as a priority. When safe to do so, you must report the attack to the relevant Council. You can contact our animal management team on the Council's direct line 08 8628 2004.
If you’re not sure which Council to contact, you can find a map of South Australia’s council boundaries here.
Report the Incident
Like all serious incidents, time is a critical factor in dealing with dog attacks. This is especially important if the offending dog is wandering at large and still poses a risk to the public or other animals. To help Council investigators, please try to gather the following information before contacting us:
- The date, time and exact location of the attack. If you’re not sure, use your GPS equipped smart phone to check on a map
- A description of the offending dog (registration disc, name tag, breed, colour, sex, markings, collar size and colour)
- A description of the owner (name, address, contact phone number, gender, age, hair colour, clothing)
- If a car was involved and the offender drove away with the dog, provide the car registration number, make, model and colour
- A description and photographs of injuries incurred and the location on yours 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 is reported?
- Authorised Council investigators may take a statement
- Photos may be taken of any injuries to yourself or your animal
- The dog's owner may be contacted to get their statement
- Investigators could seek witness statements and other evidence
- Investigators assess the circumstances and evidence and make a decision for action
- Council will then issue legal notices, as required, to inform the parties of the outcome.
Who is responsible?
You are responsible for your dog’s actions. It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase a person, another animal or a bird owned by a person.
Find out more from the Dog and Cat Management Act, 1995.
Depending on the severity of the attack, councils can:
- Issue a warning
- Impose an on the spot fine of $315
- Take a direct course of action (in more serious cases)
- Impose a control order (Nuisance, Dangerous Dog, Menacing Dog, or Destruction Order)
- The maximum penalty for a dog attack is $2,500.
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, another person or another animal. You can discourage biting by:
- Socialising your dog from an early age so that it learns how to mix with other dogs and other people in public
- 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
- De-sexing your dog. Research shows that, on average an entire dog is more aggressive. Note that de-sexing dogs is mandatory (with exemptions) from 1 July 2018
- Asking your vet for advice if your dog shows any signs of aggression towards people.
For more information on being a good dog owner, visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website.
Dog Registrations can now be done on Dogs and Cats Online https://www.dogsandcatsonline.com.au, this is a one-stop online service for all registration payments, micro-chipping and breeder information and can be accessed 24/7, including on mobile devices.
Dogs and Cats Online has been developed to allow pet owners to instantly update registration or microchip details if you move house or change phone numbers, and pay your annual Council registration fees.
Registered dogs (and cats if applicable) will be transferred from their Council register to Dogs and Cats Online. Owners will need to log in during the registration renewal period, 1 July to 31 August, to check and update their details prior to payment.
Owners will be prompted by a large red warning banner to enter their microchip details before proceeding to create their owner profile.
The renewal notice arriving in the post in July will have a unique code on it which will need to be entered onto Dogs and Cats Online, most people should now have their own login.
As this is the third year of the new system, you will not receive a new tag. You will be only be issued a dog registration disc if a new dog is being registered. The registration number will be valid once full payment of fees have been received each year.
For breeder registration information, or any other information, please visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website www.dogandcatboard.com.au
Council have adopted the following fees for dog registration in the 2020/2021 financial year: