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Dog complaints

Dog attacks or harassment

Council considers all reports of dog attacks seriously and where the attacking dog is still present, will respond as soon as possible.

If the dog attack has occurred previously, a Community Safety Inspector will respond on the next business day.

Council will require the following information:

  • Contact details of the person reporting the incident and witness details. This issue may/will require witness statements so we will require the complainant's name.
  • Name and address details of the dog owner (if known).
  • Date and time of attack.
  • Location of attack.
  • Breed/s of dog/s.

All of the complainant's and witness' details will remain confidential.

Attack in progress/dog at large

A Community Safety Inspector will attend as soon as possible.

If the dog is located and no owner can be identified, the dog is taken to the RSPCA Lonsdale Animal Shelter at 25 Meyer Avenue, Lonsdale. If the owner contacts the RSPCA, they will be advised to contact Council to discuss the incident before the dog can be released to them.

The inspector will take statements from the individuals involved and any witnesses.

What happens when you report a dog attack?

Please report all dog attacks to the Council in which the attack took place.

When a dog attack is reported to the City of Marion, the Community Safety Inspector Team investigates all such reports. Those investigations include interviewing all those who were present, including dog owners and all other witnesses who have been identified. The Inspectors will also take pictures of any wounds sustained by a person or animal involved in a dog attack.

The Inspectors will stay in touch with all persons concerned and update them as new information becomes available.

What is the outcome of an investigation?

There can be different outcomes to an investigation depending on the severity of the attack, the circumstances in which the attack occurred and the location at which it occurred. A warning may be issued, an expiation (fine) may be issued or an order placed on the attacking dog.

What is an order?

Council has the authority to place an order on a dog that has been involved in a dog attack. There are a number of different orders and the requirement of each differ. The requirements of the order may include:

  • Keeping the dog contained on the owner’s premises.
  • The dog may be required to wear a muzzle in public.
  • The dog may have to wear a distinctive collar.
  • In some circumstances the dog may be required to be microchipped and or desexed.

In extreme circumstances a destruction order may be issued.

Who pays my vet bills?

Council has no role to play in the recovery of money relating to your vet bills, this is a private matter between you and the owner of the other dog.

Should you decide to pursue civil action you may wish to contact one of the following:

  • Your own solicitor.
  • Southern Community Justice Service (Phone: 8384 5222).
  • Legal Services Commission of South Australia (Phone: 1300 366 424).

The majority of civil claims are lodged with the Magistrates Court. Their telephone number is 8204 2444.

Please contact the City of Marion Customer Service Centre on 8375 6600 if you would like further information about how the City of Marion deals with dog attacks.

Barking dogs

Dogs can create an annoyance or nuisance to nearby neighbours by barking. When this situation occurs, it is primarily a dispute between two individuals and may be resolved by having a conversation with the owner of the barking dog to make them aware of the issue.

To assist you, please refer to the below letter, that can be used, should you wish to make contact with your neighbour.

Many times dog owners are unaware their pet is causing a problem to their neighbours and are happy to put measures in place to reduce the barking when alerted to the issue.

The City of Marion may intervene in some circumstances where evidence supplied by the person affected by the barking indicates a need for Council assistance.

In these circumstances we are able to work with the dog owner to provide advice as to what measures would best reduce barking levels.

Anonymous letter to dog owner

Making a complaint

Please be advised that all complaints must be initiated in writing

It is important to understand that this form may be used as evidence in Court and therefore must be a true and accurate record.

Please note your information is kept confidential during the council investigation process.

Please see the form below for more detail.

The complaint form can be submitted to the City of Marion via one of the following methods:

Fax: 8375 6699
Post: PO Box 21 Park Holme South Australia 5043
In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047

What happens next?

On receipt of the Initial Registration Barking Dog Complaint Form, the Community Safety Team will contact the owner of the dog to inform them of the situation and their responsibilities in regard to ensuring their dog does not cause a nuisance by barking.

Complainant information is kept confidential.

If subsequent complaints indicate there has been no resolution with regard to the nuisance, a barking diary kit will be posted out.

If data recorded in the diary suggests a nuisance the City of Marion may conduct an investigation

Why do I need to complete all this paperwork?

We understand it is frustrating having to fill in a Barking Dog Diary Kit, however it is a Local Government requirement that the diary is completed and received.

The diary ensures a clear understanding of the nature of the issue.

Please note the City of Marion needs to remain unbiased in these situations, therefore requires your independent evidence when investigating a barking dog complaint.

The diary will form part of the evidence presented in Court if appropriate and if Court proceedings are to take place the person making the complaint will be required to appear and give evidence at the hearing.

How long will the investigation take?

Because these investigations are complex, it is preferable to work with the dog owner to provide long term solutions.

We are unable to give you a projected completion date, however we will contact you to update you on the progress of the investigation and the final outcome.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, you are able to seek mediation and or lodge a civil complaint.

Uniting Communities Mediation Service

Phone: 8342 1800

Legal Services Commission / Legal Aid

Phone: 1300 366 424

For further information

Should you be unable to find an answer to any of your queries on this site, please contact:

City of Marion
Customer Service Centre

In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047
Post: PO Box 21, Park Holme SA 5043