Dog Attacks

After a dog attack, you should be to seek medical or veterinary treatment as a priority.

When safe to do so, you must report the attack to the relevant council. You can contact our animal management team on (08) 8626 1001, or alternatively 0427 400 584.

If you’re not sure which council to contact, you can find a map of South Australia’s council boundaries here

Report the incident ASAP

Like all serious incidents, time is a critical factor in dealing with dog attacks. This is especially important if the offending dog is wandering at large and still poses a risk to the public or other animals. To help council investigators, please try to gather the following information before contacting us:

  • The date, time and exact location of the attack. If you’re not sure, use your GPS equipped smart phone to check on a map
  • a description or photograph of the offending dog - registration disc, name tag, breed, colour, sex, markings, collar size and colour
  • a description of the owner - name, address, contact phone number, male or female, age,  hair colour, clothing
  • if a car was involved and the offender drove away with the dog - car registration number,  make, model, colour
  • A description and photographs of any injuries and location on your body or your pet's body.

You should also keep copies of any medical certificates, vet or doctor bills as evidence.

What happens when a dog is reported?

  • Authorised Council investigators may take a statement or affidavit from you
  • Photographs may be taken of any injuries to yourself, or your animals or birds
  • The dog's owner may be contacted to get their side of the incident
  • Investigators could seek witness statements and other evidence
  • Investigators assess the circumstances and evidence and make a decision for action
  • Council will then issue legal notices as required, and;
  • Inform the parties of the outcome.

Who is responsible?

You are responsible for your dog’s actions. It is an offence for a dog to attack, harass or chase a person, another animal or a bird owned by a person.

Find out more from the Dog and Cat Management Act, 1995

Depending on the severity of the attack, councils can:

  • issue a warning
  • impose an on the spot fine of $315.00
  • take direct court action (in more serious cases)
  • impose a control order (Nuisance, Dangerous Dog, Menacing Dog, or Destruction Order)
  • The maximum penalty for a dog attack is $2,500.

If you have any questions contact us on (08) 8626 1001 or alternatively 0427 400 584.

Preventing dog bites

Dogs bite for many reasons. The most common reasons are fear, pain or confusion when mixing with people and other dogs. Ignoring signs of aggression can result in serious injury to you, a member of your family or others.  You can discourage biting by:

  • socialising your dog from an early age so that it learns how to mix with other dogs and other people in public
  • avoiding situations that may cause your dog to become nervous or anxious
  • training your dog - obedience classes help you learn about your dog, its body language and how you can communicate with it
  • Desex your dog. Research shows that, on average an entire dog is more aggressive.
  • Asking your vet for advice if your dog shows any signs of aggression towards people.

For more information on being a good dog owner, visit the Dog and Cat Management Board website

How do I make a complaint about a barking dog?

Under the Dog & Cat Management Act 1995 the person who owns or is responsible for the control of the dog is guilty of an offence if the dog (either alone or together with other dogs, whether or not in the same ownership) creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, which persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of a person.

To enable Council officers to act on issues, a written complaint is required from those persons directly affected. The complaint will then be assessed by Council officers.

What do I do if I have lost my dog?

If your dog is missing contact the Council office as soon as possible on 8626 1001 or Council's emergency contact number if over the Christmas/New Year period.

Under the Dog & Cat Management Act if a dog is not claimed within 72 hours it becomes Council property.

What are the charges relating to seizure and detention of dogs?

Under Section 64 of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 the Council may recover charges payable under the regulations in relation to the seizing and detention of a dog.  Please refer to Fees and Charges by clicking here.

Section 62 - A person is not entitled to the return of a dog unless they provide satisfactory evidence that he/she owns or is responsible for the dog, or is authorised to receive the dog by a person who owns or is responsible for the control of the dog and, in the case of an unregistered dog, the dog must be registered before leaving the pound.

What expiations can be issued by the Council?

Council may issue the following expiations (eg. fines) in relation to offences committed under the Dog & Cat Management Act and District Council of Streaky Bay Dogs By-Law 2017:

  • Dog owner in public area without bag or suitable container to pick up faeces their dog may deposit - $210.00
  • Dog defecating in a public place and the person responsible not removing the faeces - $210.00
  • Dog with no collar and no registration disc in a public place - $170.00
  • Dog wandering at large - $210.00
  • Dog in the grounds of a school - $ 315.00
  • Dog within a shop (not being an assistance dog) - $315.00
  • Dog rushing or chasing a car - $315.00
  • Transporting unrestrained dog - $210.00
  • Dog creating a nuisance by barking or otherwise - $315.00
  • Dog harassing, chasing or attacking a person, bird or animal - $315.00
  • Dog attacking a person, on its own premises who has a lawful right of entry - $315.00

Under the Dog and Cat Management Act prescribed breed means any of the following breeds:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Fila Braziliero
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentina
  • Presa Canario