Dog Attack or Harassment

If you have an encounter with a dog that is aggressive, or attacks/ harasses, it’s important to report the incident, so the City of Port Adelaide Enfield can help manage any dogs which may represent a risk to the community and other animals.

What do I do if a dog attack or harassment occurs?

The first thing to do is consider the safety of yourself, your animal or anyone else involved. If needed, please seek medical or veterinary attention immediately after a dog attack.

The City of Port Adelaide Enfield offers assistance to dog attacks/ harassments 7 days a week 24 hours a day if occurring now. When safe to do so report the incident to us on 8405 6600.

To assist the investigating Community Safety Officer, please keep your own notes detailing:

  • The date, time and location of the attack
  • A description of the offending dog(s) – identification or registration disc number/name/breed/colour/sex/estimated age and any other distinguishing markings
  • A description of the owner – male/ female/ age/weight/height/hair colour or identification/ name/ address/ contact number if they are willing to provide this
  • The address from which the offending dog may have come from
  • If a car was involved and the offender drove away with the dog – car registration number/make/model and colour
  • A description and photographs of any injuries to a person or animal

You should also keep copies of any medical documents, vet reports or doctor’s bills as evidence.

What happens when a dog is reported?

  • Community Safety Officers will attend as soon as possible if contacted at the time of the attack or harassment
  • A statement is taken from all persons involved including any witnesses
  • Photographs may be taken of any injuries to yourself, or your animals
  • The offending dog owner will be interviewed to get their version of events
  • Officers will gather any other supporting evidence
  • Officers will assess the circumstances and evidence, to decide whether any action is required to prevent further attacks or harassments
  • Officers will then take the appropriate action and inform all parties of the outcome

What is the law?

Section 44(2) of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 makes it an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase a person, animal or bird owned by a person, whether or not actual injury is caused.

What action(s) can Council take?

  • No action if insufficient evidence
  • Issue a warning
  • Expiate for offences of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995
  • Impose a Control Order such as: Nuisance, Menacing, Dangerous or Destruction Dog Order. Each order will have conditions to control the dog, such as leashing or muzzling requirements
  • Take direct court action

What can I do if my dog is involved an attack or harassment?

  • If you are present at the incident, restrain your dog. You have a duty of care for others and their animals, so check their welfare and support them to access the services they may require. Exchange contact details so you can discuss any ongoing matters after the incident
  • Investigate reasons as to why your dog may have reacted in a certain way. This may include engaging an animal behaviourist or consulting with your local vet
  • If your dog had escaped your property, investigate how and make any changes to prevent this in future
  • If your dog was off lead in a park or on the foreshore, consider whether your dog is well socialised to interact with other dogs and people. Keeping your dog on lead may be appropriate
  • Co-operate with any investigations undertaken by Council to ensure no incidents are repeated
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