The Dog Act 1976 and the Shire of Esperance Dogs Local Law addresses the control and registration of dogs, the ownership and keeping of dogs, and the obligations and rights of people, both as dog owners and non-dog owners.
All dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dogs are registered and are not allowed to wander at large in public places.
Rangers are authorised to investigate all offences under the Dog Act (1976) and conduct regular patrols of the Shire’s parks and designated animal exercise areas.
Shire Rangers approach dog control in a manner that is required by legislation and the community needs. The Dog Act provides severe penalties for ongoing offences and offenders can face Court proceedings.
Being a Responsible Owner
There are a number of homes within the Esperance community who have a four legged friend as part of the family. You should be aware of your responsibilities if you are considering owning a dog. The average lifespan of a dog is 10 years. This means dog owners need to be prepared to make a long-term commitment.
To be a responsible dog owner, you must first ask yourself whether a dog is suitable for you. Be honest about yourself and the changes you are able to make to look after a dog. The bigger the dog, the greater its demands will be.
Basic dog needs include housing, a balanced diet, training, exercise, grooming, health, flea control and vaccinations. Dog owner’s basic responsibilities include:
- Ensuring all dogs over the age of three months are registered
- Ensuring that your dog is microchipped
- Adequately training your dog
- Making sure your dog is wearing a collar displaying a current Council registration tag, your name, address and phone number
- Adequately fencing your property to confine your dog
- Keeping your dog on a leash in public areas and near play equipment
- Keeping your dog under control at all times
- Picking up all dog waste when out with your dog
All dogs over the age of three (3) months, including all farm dogs, must be registered. Dog registration will allow Ranger Services to re-unite you with your dog quickly should it wander or become lost.
All dogs must be microchipped to be eligible for registration. It is a common misconception dogs that have been given a microchip are also registered with the Shire. This is untrue. Microchips issued at the vets are completely separate to the registration tags issued by the Shire. A dog is only exempt from microchipping if a veterinarian issues a certificate stating that the implantation of a microchip may adversely affect the health and welfare of the animal.
Dog registrations are valid for either one (1) or three (3) years or lifetime and are dependent on whether your dog is sterilised (neutered) or not.
The Dog Registration Fees are as follows:
Type One (1) Year Three (3) Years Life Whole Dog $50.00 $120.00 $250.00 Sterilised Dog $20.00 $42.50 $100.00 Working Dog $12.50 $30.00 $62.50 Sterilised Working Dog $5.00 $10.60 $25.00
*Pensioners are half price on all fees.
To register your dog, complete the Dog Registration Form and return it in person to the Shire of Esperance. To transfer the ownership of a dog, please complete a formal Transfer of Ownership and submit this form to the Shire of Esperance.
As a dog owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your dog is not creating a public nuisance by barking excessively. Nuisance barking also covers public places adjoining the premises. Barking not only causes serious noise issues for residents, but it can also cause friction between neighbours.
If you are having problems with your neighbour’s dog causing a nuisance, by excessively barking, please approach them and explain your concerns and give them a chance to fix the problem.
When dealing with nuisance barking issues it is important that all parties concerned work together to assist in an amicable resolution. Some dog owners find it hard to believe that their dog is causing a nuisance through barking because they are either not home to hear it or the dog is not barking when they arrive home.
Should the nuisance barking persist after the dog owner has been advised, view the Barking Dog Information Pack or contact Ranger Services to request that they investigate the nuisance further.
Keeping more than two dogs
You must have a permit to keep more than two dogs on a residential property in the Shire of Esperance. Properties will be inspected by a Ranger to determine if the property is suitable for the keeping of more than two dogs. 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 Shire may be unable to approve your application. Request for exemptions can only be approved by Council.
Controlling your dog in a public place
Ensuring your dog gets adequate exercise is essential to their health and wellbeing. It keeps them happy, prevents boredom and can prolong their life. Dogs must always be on a leash and under effective control by their owner when in public places. This means you must be able to hold the dog without it pulling away from you, prevent it from rushing at people or other animals, and the dog must obey simple commands.
The Shire of Esperance has a dog-friendly areas, where your dog can enjoy a run around without the restrictions of a lead. Although the Shire does provide these areas for our visitors and residents alike, we seek to educate and remind people of the responsibilities of controlling their animals. If you choose to exercise your dog off a leash in the approved areas, you must have effective control of your dog, meaning you must be close by and you must carry the leash to use if required.
To ensure our Shire remains clean and tidy for other users, we ask you take the opportunity to use the free dog-poo bags available and place your pup’s poop in the bins provided.
For more information, including tips for being a responsible dog owner, visit the Department of Local Government and Communities Responsible Dog Ownership web page
Additional information about the Dog Act 1976 can be found at the State Law Publisher