Frequently Asked Questions

What are my responisibilities as a dog owner?

As the owner or person in charge of a dog, you have certain responsibilities and legal requirements under the Dog Control Act 2000. The following outlines the main responsibilities:

  • Registering all dogs over the age of six (6) months with Council.
  • Keeping your dog on a lead (no longer than two metres) when you are walking in a public place including a road, footpath, park, beach or town. This does not apply to off leash areas, but the dog still needs to be under effective control. (Effective Control means your dog in in close proximity, in visual sight and the person in charge of the dog is able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of an authorised person that the dog is immediately responsive to the person’s commands). 
  • Ensuring that the dog does not roam and that it is under your effective control at all times.
  • Restricting your dog sufficiently while it is in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle.
  • Preventing your dog from rushing at or chasing a person, animal, moving vehicle or bicycle whilst in a public place.
  • Ensuring that a female dog in heat is confined and away from public space.
  • Immediately cleaning up after your dog in a public place.
  • Ensure that your dog is implanted with a micro-chip and the details of that chip are supplied to Council upon application of dog registration.

An authorised person (e.g; Compliance Officer) may request from a dog owner their name and place of residence if the authorised person reasonably believes that the person is committing, has committed or attempted to commit an offence under the Dog Control Act 2000 (The Act).

A person must not –

  • Fail or refuse to state his or her name or place of residence; or
  • Give a false name or place of residence.

A person, in making any application or giving any information under “The Act”, must not –

  • Make a statement knowing it to be false or misleading; or omit any matter knowing that without that matter the application or information is misleading.

Why do I have to register my dog?

Dog registration is a legal requirement under the Dog Control Act 2000 (The Act). You may receive an infringement notice for not complying with this Act. However, there are many additional benefits the come by registering your dog with Council.

Your dog’s registration fees may go toward providing the following:

  • Dog exercise areas, including off leash dog parks.
  • Dog waste bag dispensers within the municipality, dog bags are also available for collection at the Council offices upon request.
  • Pound facilities: housing of stray, abandon, lost or dangerous dogs. This service enables a safe environment for dogs where it is fed and housed while all efforts are made to locating their owner.
  • Up keep of pound facilities. This enables the pound facility to be free from diseases such as the parvo disease.
  • Individualised registration tags for your registered dog. Dog and owner details are updated annually, as it is easier and faster to reunite a lost dog with its owner.
  • Animal management staff can be employed to support the collection and return of lost dogs to owners.

Events, incentive schemes and information may include

  • Free information booklets and fact sheets.
  • Dog events. (dog fest Wynyard)
  • Discount incentive schemes for new registrations.

Employing animal management staff

  • Staff to attend to nuisance complaints such as:
    -barking complaints,
    -dog trespassing complaints, and
    -wandering and stray dogs, just to name a few.
  • Staff to attend to and investigate dog attack, bites and rushing incidents.
  • Staff to patrol parks, beaches and all public places.
  • Council to provide a 24-hour response to emergency’s (dog attacks)
  • Staff to manage and run pound facilities.
  • Training courses and programs for animal management staff to ensure they have the most up to date information and skills in animal management.
  • Animal management tools to ensure animal management officers are able to perform their role in the most efficient and safe manner.

Dangerous and restricted breed dog management

Your registration fees cover the costs of staff in enforcement of the control of dangerous, menacing and restricted bred dogs. Ensuring that owners are compliant with current legislation, preventing a continuing threat to the community.

Exotic disease and biosecurity

The State Government uses pet registration information for responding to exotic disease threats that effect dogs. Without proper knowledge of the location of dogs, in the event of a disease outbreak, the State Government cannot know who to contact to prevent the spread of or effectively plan the eradication of the disease.

Why do dogs have to be registered at six (6) months of age?

The owner of a dog over the age of six (6) months must be registered with Council.

Registering a dog at six (6) months of age encourages early age de-sexing of that dog, offering a discount to registration upon application. This may in turn prevent the breeding of unwanted dogs, many of which are euthanised each year across Tasmania.

Registering dogs at six (6) months of age also ensures that a lost dog is swiftly reunited to their owners. For registration forms please refer to www.warwyn.tas.gov.au

When does the registration period start and finish each year?

The registration period begins on the 1st of July and finishes on the 30st of June the following year. You have a 30-day grace period to re-register your dog to qualify for a discount. After the 31st of July the full fee will apply. Any owners failing to register their dogs within the discount period may receive an infringement for an unregistered dog.

Registration fees:

The types and levels of fees are set by the elected members of Council and vary depending on a number of factors. Please see the fees and charges for the current fee on our website at: www.warwyn.tas.gov.au

You may be eligible for reduced registration fees if your dog is:

  • De-sexed.
  • Used as a working dog.
  • Have a concession, pension card or health care card.
  • All first-time registration.

Does my dog have to wear the registration tag all the time?

Generally, yes! The owner or person in charge of a dog, other than an assistance dog, must ensure that the dog, while in a public place, has a collar fastened around its neck to which the dog's registration tag is attached.

However, this does not apply to –

  • A working dog engaged in working; or
  • A hunting dog engaged in hunting; or
  • A dog engaged in racing; or
  • A dog engaged in showing; or
  • A dog engaged in trialling; or
  • A dog engaged in training for any activity referred

The owner or person in charge of an assistance dog must ensure that the dog, while in a public place, has its registration tag attached to its collar, lead or harness.

A person must not remove a collar from a dog that is in a public place without a valid purpose.

What do I do if my dog loses its registration tag?

A replacement registration tag is available from the Council office at a small cost. Please see the fees and charges for the current fee on our website at: www.warwyn.tas.gov.au

What happens if I register my dog late or do not register my dog?

Dog registration renewals that are unpaid at 1 August will incur the full registration fee. Late registrations create additional administrative costs in reminders notices, postage as well as staff time.

If you do not register your dog the following may occur:

  • An infringement notice may be issued.
  • Council may seize and impound the dog.
  • Council may prosecute the dog owner.
Take note: Impoundment and associated housing cost will be incurred in the relation to the seizure of the unregistered dog.
These costs must be paid before Council can release your dog back to you.
If the dog is not microchipped this will also be conducted and added to the cost prior to its release.

Do I have to microchip my dog?

The owner of a dog that is over 6 months of age must ensure that the dog is implanted with an approved microchip.

This does not apply to –

  • A dog which a veterinary surgeon has issued a certificate stating that to implant the dog with a microchip may adversely affect the health and welfare of the dog.
  • Specified racing greyhounds, all working dogs, and specified hunting dogs.

If a dog that is required to be implanted with a microchip is not implanted and is seized in accordance with The Act, then the General Manager may assert the dog to be implanted with an approved microchip. The owner of the dog is liable for the costs associated with the implanting.

This also applies to all dogs that have been registered with Council before the 1st July 2011 unless the dog is classed as exempt.

Note: It is not required for a working dog to be microchipped. However, by having your dog microchipped will help Council locate the owner of a lost dog.

Why do I have to prove that my dog is a working dog?

Council understands that there are a number of businesses within the community that benefit from owning and using a working dog. By providing proof that your dog is a working dog, you are eligible to a discounted fee. Examples of proof include; the breed of your dog, the address that the dog works at, a letter from your employer or if you are the owner of the farming property, you need to provide a primary producer number.

A working dog is classified by the below criteria.

working dog means a dog used principally for –

  • Droving or tending livestock; or
  • Detecting illegal substances; or
  • Searching, tracking or rescuing; or
  • Working with police officers.

A hunting dog is not classified as a working dog as stated in The Act.

A hunting dog means a dog used principally for hunting.

If you believe your dog is classified as a ‘working dog’, please provide Council with the above information and a Council officers will then assess and determine if you qualify for a registration discount.

Please note: working dogs are not exempt from registration but are from microchipping.

What should I do if a dog attack occurs?

If a dog attacks, harasses or menaces a person or other animal please contact Council immediately on 6443 8333 or the Police on 131 444. An investigation will be promptly conducted by Council staff. 

What happens if I move to a new house or change my details?

If you are moving to a new house permanently or moving temporarily for more than 14 days with your dog, you will need to notify Council in writing. This needs to be done within 14 days of moving.

If you're transferring to a different municipality, both your old and new councils will need to be notified in writing.

You can notify The Waratah Wynyard Council by completing a change of dog ownership details form. Then mail, email or drop off the form to Council.

This form can be found on our website at www.warwyn.tas.gov.au or call Council on 6443 8333 and we can email the form to you.

Please note: Ensure that you immediately notify Council if any of you contact details change.
A current phone number is vital to track down the owners of a dog found at large.

What happens if I sell or give my dog to someone else?

As the previous owner, you must notify Council in writing that you no longer own the dog. This must occur within 14 days of the change of ownership. The new owner of the dog will also need to notify Council of the change of ownership, in writing within 14 days.

You can notify Council by completing a change of dog ownership details form. Then mail, email or drop off the form to Council.

This form can be found on our website at www.warwyn.tas.gov.au or call Council on 6443 8333 and we can email the form to you.

Please note: you may be responsible for any incidents that occur involving your dog
whilst it is register or micro-chipped under your NAME!

What happens if my dog passes away?

In the unfortunate situation where your dog passes away, you are obliged to notify Council in writing within 14 days of the dog's death. This also applies if your dog is lost or permanently removed from your premises. Once notified, Council will cancel your dog's registration, thus you will not receive a registration reminder notice for your lost pet.

You must notify Council in writing by completing a change of dog’s ownership details form. Then mail, email or drop off the form to Council. This form can be found on our website at www.warwyn.tas.gov.au or call Council on 6443 8333 and we can email the form to you.

Does my dog have to be on a lead in public areas?

In most cases your dog MUST be on a lead and under effective control when in a public place. Your dog must be tethered to a lead of not more than 2m long by a person able to control that dog. A dog can only be tethered to a fixed object by a lead not more than 2m long in a public area for a period not more than 30 minutes. Please make yourself familiar with the areas that you dog can be exercised off lead to avoid receiving a penalty notice.

Dogs can be exercised off lead in designated off lead areas located by signage or our dog beach brochure that can be found on our website. The dog must also be under effect control. (Effective Control means that your dog is in close proximity, in visual sight and the person in charge of the dog is able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of an authorised person that the dog is immediately responsive to the person’s commands). 

What are the “Prohibited public areas” in my municipality?

There are several “Prohibited public areas” within our municipality that prohibit dogs from entering at all times. A person must not take a dog into:

  • any grounds of a school, preschool, kindergarten, crèche or other place for the reception of children without the permission of a person in charge of the place; or
  • any shopping centre or any shop; or
  • the grounds of a public swimming pool; or
  • any playing area of a sportsground on which sport is being played; or
  • any area within 10 metres of a children's playground.

This section does not apply to –

  • a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person or is in training for that purpose; or
  • a hearing dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially deaf person or is in training for that purpose; or
  • a pet shop; or
  • the premises of a veterinary surgeon; or
  • a pet-grooming shop; or
  • any other premises related to the care and management of dogs. 
Please note: allowing your dog to enter or taking your dog into a prohibited
public area is an offence against the Act.
You may be issued with an infringement notice for non-compliance.

Do I have to clean up after my dog?

Yes!  You are always required and expected to immediately clean up after your dog when they are in a public place. Dog faeces can be unpleasant and may damage the environment. Cleaning up can be done simply and easily with the aid of a scooper or plastic bag, the collected product can be placed into the nearest rubbish bin.

Please note: This does not apply to a guide dog that is accompanying a wholly or partially blind person.

How many dogs may I keep on my premises?

Under the Act you are required to apply to Council for a kennel licence if you intend to keep:

  • More than two dogs over the age of six months; or
  • More than four working dogs over the age of six months.

For more information on kennel licences please contact Council on 6443 8333.

What is a dangerous dog?

Dogs may be declared dangerous if they have:

  1. Caused serious injury to a person or other animal; or
  2. There is reasonable cause to believe that the dog is likely to cause serious injury to a person or another animal.

If either of the above occurs, the General Manager is able to serve notice on the owner of the dog and give reasons for the declaration in that notice, advising the owner of their rights of appeal.

All declared dangerous dogs whilst out in public must ensure that:

  • The person in charge of the dog is over 18 years; and
  • The dog is wearing a muzzle so as to be unable to bite a person or animal; and
  • On a lead that is not more than 2 meters long, is held by hand, and is sufficient to control and restrain the dog; or
  • Restricted in or on a vehicle so that it is unable to leave the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle; and
  • The dog is wearing an approved collar.

A dangerous dog is under the effective control of a person on premises at which the dog is usually kept if: 

  •  The dog is in an enclosure that complies with the prescribed requirements; orThe person is over the age of 18 years and the dog: and
  • Is wearing a muzzle so as to be unable to bite a person or animal; and
  • Is on a lead that is not more than 2 metres long, is held by hand, and is sufficient to control and restrain the dog; and
  • Is wearing an approved collar.

In addition, the dog must be microchipped and always wear an approved collar. If you own a dog that has been declared dangerous you must also ensure that there are approved warning signs on every entrance to your property.

Please Note: A dangerous dog can be identified in public by a red and yellow fluorescent diagonal striped collar.

Nuisance or barking dogs?

A dog is a nuisance if –

  • it behaves in a manner that is injurious or dangerous to the health of any person; or
  • it creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, that persistently occurs or continues to such an extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any premises or public place.

If you believe that your neighbour’s dog is a nuisance by constantly barking it would be Council initial recommendation in the interests of sound neighbourly relations that both you and the dog owner/s enter into negotiations to attempt to successfully resolve the nuisance barking issue.

Should this not be possible or not successful then the matter should be raised informally with Council’s Compliance officer.  The matter will be assessed and if required, possible remedial action will be advised to the dog owner/s to resolve the issue.  The complainant will be notified of the results of the initial assessment and, if required, future actions to resolve the matter.

Should the matter remain unresolved or you wish Council to formally process the matter and request Council to investigate it under the Dog Control Act 2000, the following information is required to allow for a fair and unbiased investigation:

  • An introductory letter clearly stating your name and address;
  • he nature of the nuisance;
  • How this nuisance impacts on your peace, comfort or convenience; and
  • Enclose a diary with no less than 14 days of observations, containing reference to the following: -
  • Date;
  • Time barking commenced;
  • Time barking ceased;
  • Where the barking could be heard within your place of residence;
  • Trigger issues e.g. postmen was delivering mail, children on footpath etc; and
  • A fee of $75.

Lodging a formal complaint with Council should be your last resort.

Please note: As a dog owner you are responsible for ensuring that your dog is not causing
a nuisance and is always kept under effective control. Council may issue infringement
or abatement notices if the owner fails to prevent their dog from becoming a nuisance.

Can I keep a guard dog?

A guard dog can only be used to guard premises that are not residential premises. If you are the owner of a dog that you wish to use as a guard dog to guard non-residential premises, then you must notify the General Manager in writing that the dog is a guard dog. On receipt of the notification, the general manager will declare the dog to be a dangerous dog. If the dog ceases to act as a guard dog, then the owner may apply to the general manager to revoke the declaration. The General Manager may then revoke the declaration if satisfied the dog is no longer being used as a guard dog and is not a dangerous dog.

What happens if my dog leaves my property and is impounded?

If your dog is impounded by Council and is wearing a current registration tag, then Council will make all reasonable efforts to contact the owner advising them that their dog has been seized and impounded.

Please note: An authorised officer may seize and detain any dog at large.

If a dog is registered and its owner is identifiable, the general manager will notify the owner of the dog in writing that 

  • The dog has been seized and detained; and
  • The owner may reclaim the dog.

The owner of a dog seized must pay, within 5 working days after a notice has been issued:

  • Any fees in relation to the seizure and detaining of the dog; and
  • The reasonable cost of the dog's detention; and
  • [Section 36 Subsection (1) amended by No. 72 of 2009, s. 18, Applied:01 Jul 2010] the cost of implanting the dog with a microchip if not already completed; and
  • Any other fees or charges relating to the dog that have not been paid under; and
  • In the case of an unregistered dog, the appropriate registration fee.

If, after five (5) working days after the notice has been given to the owner, the owner does not reclaim the dog, the general manager may sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of the dog.

Council will take reasonable steps and make reasonable inquiries to identify the owner of a dog.

If a dog is seized and its owner is not identifiable, the general manager, not less than three (3) working days after its seizure, may;

  • sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of the dog if it is not a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog; or
  • destroy the dog if it is a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog.
All dogs that are seized and impounded by the council are housed at the
Burnie Dogs Home, 170 Stowport Road, Burnie Tasmania 7320 (PH: 03 6431 6199).

What happens if my dog is seized by an authorised officer ?

An authorized person who has reason to believe that the owner or person in charge of a dog has committed an offence against the Dog Control Act 2000 may; 

  • Enter onto land owned or occupied by that owner or person, but not any dwelling on that land; and
  • Search for and seize any dog on that land.

 If your dog has been seized by a Council Officer due to an alleged offence against the Act, then the general manager will serve a notice in writing stating;

  • The offence against the Act that it is alleged has been committed; and
  • Any steps that the general manager requires to be undertaken before the dog is returned, to prevent the commission of the same or another offence against the Act; and
  • That the dog may be disposed of or destroyed if not claimed within 5 days after the date of the notice.
Please note: If you have been served with a notice, then you must follow all steps outlined
in that notice and pay all appropriate impounding fees before you dog can be released.

Can an authorised council officer enter my property?

Yes. An authorized person may enter and remain in or on any premises at any reasonable time to determine –

  • the number of dogs on those premises;
  • whether or not any dog on those premises is registered; and
  • any other relevant matter relating to any licence.

An authorized person who has reason to believe that the owner or person in charge of a dog has committed an offence under The Act may –

  • Enter onto land owned or occupied by that owner or person, but not any dwelling on that land; and
  • Search for and seize any dog on that land.

A magistrate, by warrant, may empower an authorized person and any other person named in the warrant to enter a dwelling by force if –

  • The dwelling is not occupied; or
  • Entry into the dwelling has been refused or is likely to be refused.

What happens if my dog is seized by an authorised officer after an alleged dog attack?

An authorized person may seize and detain any dog in respect of which the person has reasonable cause to believe that an offence for a dog attack has been committed.

If your dog has been seized by a council officer following an alleged attack, then that dog will be detained at the Burnie Dogs Home or any form of custody that the authorized officer directs until;

  • If proceedings for an offence for a dog attack are instituted within 7 working days after the day on which the dog was seized, or the completion of those proceedings; or
  • If the proceedings are not instituted within that period of 7 working days, the expiration of that period.

The owner of the dog will be notified by the general manager in writing following the outcome of the investigation.

 

More information link:

http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/divisions/local_government/legislation/dog_control

 

 

Waratah Wynyard Council
21 Saunders Street : PO Box 168, Wynyard TAS 7325
Phone (03) 6443 8333 : Fax (03) 6443 8383 : Email: council@warwyn.tas.gov.au
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