Information for Dog Owners

You are required by law to register your dog

The law requires that Dogs over the age of three months are required to be registered. Registrations must be in the name of the person over 18 years of age. All registrations are due on the 1st November of each year, with options of 1 Year, 3 years or Lifetime Registration (application form).

Microchipping requirements

Amendments introduced on 1 November 2013 require that all new dogs registered for the first time, or dogs that are transferred to a new owner, need to be microchipped. All existing dogs need to be microchipped by 1 November 2015. When you register your dog you will be required to provide proof that the dog has been microchipped by providing the microchip number.

Further information is available from the Department of Local Government and Communities.

Dog Attacks

The Dog Act has been amended to give local authorities far wider powers in the investigation and prosecution of dog owners where the dog has attacked and caused injuries to a person or other animal.

  • A dog attack is a very serious matter. If your dog attacks a person or another animal, you will be held responsible even if you are not there at the time. The only exemption is where the dog was provoked to attack.
  • A dog attack includes a dog aggressively rushing at or attempting to attack a person or animal, as well as tearing clothing, biting or causing physical injury.
  • There are penalties of up to $10,000 for a dog attack and/or 12 months’ imprisonment for inciting a dog to attack.
  • Local Governments have the power to seek a court order for a dog to be destroyed if it has attacked and caused injury or damage.
  • The dogs’ owner is also liable for any injury or damage resulting from a dog attack. A person who has been attacked may take private legal action for any injury or damage.
  • If a dog has been involved in an attack it should be reported as soon as possible to the Shires Rangers, who will investigate the attack.
  • If necessary, a dog may be placed on a Dangerous Dog Register and declared as being a potential risk. If a dog is declared dangerous, the owner or person in charge of the animal will be required to put a variety of regulations into place.
  • A owner or person in charge of a dangerous dog shall have the animal on a leash, chain or restraining device of a prescribed length (2 Metres) at all times when in a public place.
  • A dog may be required to wear a muzzle in a public place.
  • A restriction that may be applied will stipulate that the animal must be confined when children are at the property where the dog is usually kept.
  • A dog may also be declared dangerous if it has shown a repeated tendency to chase people, other animals or vehicles.
  • If a dog has been declared as being dangerous, the owner or person responsible for the dog may lodge an objection with Council or to the State Administrative Tribunal if they believe such an order is unfair.

To report a dog attack please contact the Shires Ranger Services by telephone (08) 9191 0999 or via e-mail rangers@sdwk.wa.gov.au (If after hours or on the weekend/public holidays, the call will be transferred to the Shire's after hours service)

How many dogs am I able to keep on my property?

A person is able to keep two registered dogs on a property. Should they wish to retain any further dogs they must first obtain permission from the Shire.

The steps that an applicant is required to follow when applying for permission to retain more than the prescribed number of dogs (2) are:

  • Notify neighbours of your intention to apply to keep extra dog/s.
  • Get letters from all neighbours, giving their name address and contact numbers as to whether they agree or disagree to the intentions, of having an additional dog on the property.
  • When the letters have been obtained the applicant must write to the Shire and apply for permission to retain the extra dog/s.
  • The applicant must be able to guarantee that all dogs that will be retained on the premises will be adequately contained (fences capable of keeping dogs from escaping).

The Shire must approve the request to retain more than the prescribed number of dogs (2) on any property and all neighbours must also be agreeable.

Ranger services will then inspect the property to see that the property is adequately fenced and that there is sufficient room on the property for the additional dog/s.

Permission may be withdrawn at any time, if sufficient evidence is produced that would convince the Shire that the extra dog/s are creating a problem in the district.

Should the applicant be successful in gaining permission to retain extra dog/s, they will be permitted to retain only the animals that have been approved by the Shire. Should any of the animals be rehoused or pass away, the applicant is not permitted to purchase or obtain another dog to replace the one no longer under their control. A new application is required. If you have any queries please contact Ranger Services on (08) 9191 0999.

Missing Dogs

Don’t just wait for your dog to come back, it may be in the pound, injured or in someone else's back yard.

Contact the Shire Rangers immediately to see if you dog has been impounded. If the dog has not been impounded a full description marking, and sex and any identifying marks or identification will be recorded by Rangers. The owner of the missing dog should contact the Shire Rangers with any further updates. I.e. if you know the whereabouts of the dog/s.

If there is no success in the above areas, it may be an option to place an advertisement on Social Networks, the vets and community notice boards.

Dogs may wander a long way, if you have recently moved they may try to return to the old house. Keep looking for several weeks, often people find a dog and don’t notify the Rangers straight away, as they are concerned that the dog might be destroyed.

If the dog is registered and the registration tag is on the animal, the owner will be notified. If a dog is impounded a pound fee and daily keep fee will be charged for the release of the animal. Any dog impounded will need to be registered within the State of Western Australia prior to release (proof of registration will be essential). If no proof can be presented the animal shall be registered with the local authority that has the dog in custody, prior to release.

A fine of $200.00 may also be imposed for the dog wandering at large in a public place. This fee must be paid within 28 days of receipt. Office hours are Monday to Friday 8.00am to 4.30pm.

If you have any queries please contact the Ranger Services by telephone on (08) 9191 0999 or, via email ranger@sdwk.wa.gov.au.

Fees and Charges

Download a complete listing of fees and charges for Shire services and facilities.

Useful Links

My Responsibilities as a Dog Owner

Dangerous Dogs & Restricted Breeds

Commercial Security Dogs