Nuisance 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 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 home when the barking occurs. Most dog owners are willing to work with their neighbours to achieve an amicable outcome. To assist you to approach your neighbour you may choose to use the following letter prepared by Council.

Customer requests

If a request about a noisy dog is received, Council's General Inspector 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, of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995)

Most requests about noisy dogs received by Council 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. Community Mediation Services can be contacted on 8350 0376 or visit their website.

Note: The person making the request 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.

Control (Barking Dog) Orders

If the problem is not resolved the Council's General Inspectorate may issue 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 Port Adelaide Enfield 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 request will be required to attend.

Dog owners have the right to appeal a Control Order.

Complaints and Grievance Procedures

If you believe that Council 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.

Complainants 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.

Complainants retain the right at any time to refer the matter to the Ombudsman's Office.

How to lodge a request

In order to lodge a Nuisance/Barking Dog Request, please contact the Council's Customer Service Centre on 08 8405 6600, or log an online service request.

The person making the request needs to be willing to keep a diary. Diaries are used to ascertain the extent of the nuisance, make recommendations to the dog owner and as evidence should formal action be required.

Formal Requests

If Council's General Inspectorate is unable to resolve the request informally we will commence a formal investigation that may include speaking with neighbours who may be affected by the noise of the dog.

The investigation will include providing the person who made the request, the dog owner and surrounding neighbours with barking dog diaries.

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

Prosecution

Council can instigate 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 Court.  This course of action can only be handled by the complainant and cannot be handled by Council.

For further information on this topic, or if you have any questions, please call our helpful Customer Services team on 8405 6600 or send us an email.
Copyright (c) 2015 City of Port Adelaide Enfield