Dogs

Responsible Dog Ownership

If you own a dog you have a responsibility to ensure that your pet is well looked after and that you respect other people in the community by taking measures to prevent your pet creating a nuisance.

Dog owners need to ensure that:

  • dogs are confined on the owner’s property;
  • dogs are under control when in public places;
  • dogs do not behave aggressively towards people or other animals;
  • dogs don’t bark excessively; and
  • owners pick up their dog’s droppings and dispose of the waste appropriately.

Being a responsible dog owner also means making sure that your dog is registered and microchipped. This is not only a legal requirement but it makes it much easier for lost dogs to be reunited with their owners.

The Dog Act 1976 places responsibilities for the control of dogs on West Australian dog owners. For more information, please follow the link below.

The City of Albany Dog Local Law 2017

Dog Registration

Microchipping

Dogs aged 3 months or older must be microchipped, unless a certificate has been provided by a veterinarian stating that microchipping may adversely affect the health and welfare of the dog.

Registration

Dogs over the age of three months must be registered. The dog must also be microchipped before it can be registered (unless exempt).

Click on the link below to download a dog registration application form.

Dog Registration Application Form

Dogs must wear a collar with the registration tag attached to the collar. This will significantly improve the chances of lost dogs being reunited with their owners.

Dog registrations renewals fall due on 31 October each year and can be paid online or in person at the City of Albany Administration Office at 102 North Road, Yakamia.

Working dog concession (75% discount on the non-discounted fees below) is available to registered primary producers or persons using dogs for the droving or tending of stock. (Proof of primary producer status may be required.)

Registration fees for dogs are as follows:

  • 1 year sterilised -  $20.00
  • 1 year sterilised (pensioner) - $10.00
  • 1 year unsterilised - $50.00
  • 1 year unsterilised (pensioner) - $25.00
  • 3 year sterilised -  $42.50
  • 3 year sterilised pensioner - $21.25
  • 3 year unsterilised - $120.00
  • 3 year unsterilised (pensioner) - $60.00
  • Lifetime sterilised -  $100.00
  • Lifetime sterilised (pensioner) - $50.00
  • Lifetime unsterilised - $250.00
  • Lifetime unsterilised (pensioner) - $125.00

Sterilisation of Dogs

It is not a legal requirement to have your dog sterilised, however discounts apply to the registration of sterilised dogs.

If you have your dog sterilised after registering it as unsterilised, part of the registration fee paid may be refunded.

Transfer or Cancellation of Dog Registration

Transfer of Dog Registration

If you sell or give your dog to another person, you and the new owner will need to fill out the Transfer of Dog Ownership Form.

It does not cost anything to transfer ownership of a registered dog and the remaining registration period will be transferred to the new owner.

Please click on the link below to download a Registered Dog Transfer of Ownership form.

Registered Dog Transfer of Ownership Form

Transfer of Non-microchipped Dogs:

Dogs must be microchipped before ownership is transferred, unless a certificate has been provided by a veterinarian stating that microchipping may adversely affect the health and welfare of the dog.

Transfer of Microchipped Dogs:

Within seven days of the transfer of the microchipped dog, the seller must notify the microchip database company of the name and address of the new owner of the dog, and of any other changes (you must also advise the local government of the transfer).

Transfer of Dangerous Dogs:

A restricted breed dangerous dog cannot be transferred to another owner unless there are exceptional circumstances. A declared dangerous dog must not be transferred to a person under the age of 18. For more information please contact the Rangers on ranger@albany.wa.gov.au .

Cancellation of Dog Registration

If you wish to cancel your dog's registration, please click on the link below to download a Cancellation of Dog Registration Form. Please note that no refunds are issued for cancellation of dog registrations.

Cancellation of Dog Registration Form

Keeping More Than Two Dogs

Limit on Number of Dogs

The limit on the number of dogs that can be kept in the City of Albany (without a permit) are:

  • on premises situated on a property with an area of 4 hectares or more – 6 dogs over the age of 3 months and the young of those dogs; or
  • on premises situated on any other lot (i.e. less than 4 hectares in area) – 2 dogs over the age of 3 months and the young of those dogs.

Permit to Keep More than the Permitted Number of Dogs

If you wish to keep more that the permitted number of dogs, you need to apply for a permit from the City of Albany.

As part of the approval process, all abutting neighbours must be contacted to ensure they do not object to the application. If objections are received, the City may be unable to approve your application.

Properties may be inspected by a Ranger to determine if the property is suitable for keeping more than two dogs. Where complaints have been received about the dogs, applications may not be supported by the City.

An application fee applies. Please click on the link below to download an application form:

Application For Permit To Keep More Than Two Dogs

Dog Kennels

To apply for a permit to establish a dog kennel, please contact the Planning Services at the City of Albany on planning@albany.wa.gov.au.

Control of Dogs

Dogs in Public Places

  • When dogs are in a public place (unless it's in a declared dog exercise area), they must be held on a leash (maximum length of 2 metres) or harness by a person who is capable of controlling the dog, or be securely tethered.
  • A dog must also wear a collar with its registration tag attached when out in public.
  • Dogs are only permitted on private property with the consent of the property occupier or owner.
  • Rangers may seize and impound dogs that are uncontrolled in public, or on a private property without the consent of the property owner or occupier.

Fencing Requirements

  • Property occupiers are responsible for ensuring that the fences will securely keep the dog contained within the property.
  • The fence should prevent the dog from passing over, or going under or through it.
  • When the dog is on the premises any gate within the fenced area should be kept closed and be fitted with a locking mechanism.
  • Please not that specific requirements exist for securely containing a dangerous dog.
  • If you require a Ranger to carry out a fence inspection, an inspection fee applies.

Dog Exercise Areas

The City of Albany has set aside several areas as off-leash dog exercise areas. For more information click here.

Barking Dogs

Barking is normal dog behaviour, however living near a dog that barks excessively can be disruptive.

The City recommend that in the first instance you talk to the owner of the dog. Often dog owners are usually not aware that their dog is barking, especially if they work away from home during the day.

It can be useful to note when the dog barks and if you observe any triggers (e.g. if the dog barks at passers-by). This helps establish the severity of the problem and identifies any patterns which can be used to determine the reason why the dog is barking.

If you don't feel comfortable approaching your neighbour, or if the problem continues, then Rangers may investigate the issue. You can provide the details using the Report It function.

Action by Rangers

The actions that local governments can take to deal with nuisance barking are determined by the Dog Act 1976.

The Ranger firstly needs to be satisfied that the barking behaviour is in fact a nuisance. Follow up actions may include a Ranger talking to neighbours and observing barking behaviour and we may ask you to keep a formal record of the barking.

If the Ranger establishes that the barking is causing a nuisance a noise abatement order, which requires the owner to prevent the dog making the noise, may be issued. This notice has effect for six months.

If the owner does not comply with the notice an infringement notice may be issued or prosecution action commenced.

More Information

If your dog barks excessively, click below to download a Barking Dog Information Sheet.

Barking Dog Information Sheet

Responsible Dog Ownership

Dog Attacks

Dog attacks can have serious consequences. The dog owner and the person in charge of the dog at the time of an attack may be held accountable. The City takes dog attacks seriously and may prosecute any dog owner whose dog has committed an attack on a person or animal.

A dog attack does not need to cause physical injury and includes the following dog behaviour:

  • aggressively rushing at or harassing any person or animal,
  • biting, or otherwise causing physical injury to a person or animal,
  • tearing clothing or causing damage to the property of the person attacked, or
  • attempting to attack or behaving in a manner that would cause a person to fear physical injury.

Under the Dog Act 1976, it is an offence for a dog to attack, attempt to attack or aggressively harass a person or animal.

Dog attacks may lead to infringements being issued to the dog owner and/or the person responsible for the dog at the time of the attack. In more serious cases, court action may be taken. The maximum penalty for a dog attack is $10,000.

If you are a victim of a dog attack, please report the incident to the City of Albany Rangers immediately. Required details may include the date, time and location of attack and a description of the offending dog and owner. Please keep copies of any medical treatment required as a result of the attack and in some instances photographic evidence may be required.

Dog Attacks on Livestock

Dog attacks on livestock is considered a serious offence and substantial penalties may be incurred by owners of dogs.

If a dog is in an enclosed paddock or yard with livestock, the property owner may lawfully destroy the dog. If this action occurs, the Police must be advised as soon as practicable.

We strongly advise you contact Rangers on 6820 3999, prior to undertaking this course of action.

Dangerous Dogs

Owners of a restricted breed dog, or a dog that has been declared dangerous by a local government must abide by the stringent laws that are in place to protect the community.

If you own a restricted breed dog (see below) or a dog crossed with a restricted breed, you need to declare this on the application form when you register your dog for the first time, or renew its registration.

Penalties for breaches of the Dog Act 1976 by a dangerous dog are double those which apply to other dogs.

Restricted Breeds

Certain breeds of dogs have been identified by the Commonwealth Government as being particularly aggressive. These breeds have been banned from import into Australia.

In is an offence to sell, buy or advertise for sale restricted breed dogs.

The following breeds (or crosses of these breeds) are classified as restricted:

  • pit bull terriers;
  • American pit bull terriers;
  • dogo Argentino;
  • fila Brasileiro;
  • Japanese tosa; and
  • perro de pressa canario

Declared Dangerous Dogs

A local government may declare a dog dangerous if it has caused injury or damage by an attack on, or chasing, a person, animal or vehicle or if a dog has repeatedly shown a tendency to attack or chase causing no injury.

Protection Measures

Under the Act, dangerous dogs (including restricted breeds) must:

  • wear a special collar that identifies it as a dangerous dog
  • be confined in an enclosure that prevents its escape; its release without permission; and a child aged less than 7 years from entering or inserting part of his or her body
  • be sterilised
  • be microchipped
  • be muzzled and under the control of an adult capable of controlling the dog if outside of its enclosure.
  • A prescribed warning sign must be erected at each entrance to the premises where a restricted breed dog is kept.