Owning a dog comes with responsibilities to care and control the dog at all times. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to, compliance with the Dog Act 1976, which requires dog owners to:
- register and microchip all dogs over the age of 3 months. All dogs must wear the registration tag and an identification tag at all times;
- advise your local government and microchip agency of any change of address or if your animal dies;
- keep your dog under control at all times, within a fenced and secure yard on your property or on a leash when in public, unless in a designated "Dog Exercise Area". But even then your dog must be under your effective control at all times;
- ensure your dog does not create a nuisance by barking excessively or wandering; and
- collect and remove any dog faeces in public areas.
Sadly not all dog owners are responsible. Similar to many other communities, issues associated with irresponsible dog ownership in the Shire include unregistered dogs, dog faeces on paths and in parks, dogs not being on leads in public and wandering dogs. Failing to control a dog at all times is of the greatest concern, this can lead to attacks on other dogs, stock, wildlife or even members of the public.
Shire of Manjimup rangers endeavour to provide a quality service to the community and take pride in their job, but their ability to respond to dog issues, particularly wandering dogs is hindered by:
- irresponsible dog owners;
- the fact they may be attending to one of their many other roles within the community;
- they are not capable of being everywhere at all times and are as a result often not aware of dogs wandering the community;
- members of the public not reporting wandering dogs or other issues directly to the Shire in a timely manner; and
- members of the public actively seeking to avoid ranger involvement by seeking to alert a dog owner or return the dog to the owner, whether they are a responsible dog owner or not. This often results in repeat offences due to irresponsible dog ownership.
Almost all dogs are capable of travelling at some speed. Given this, delays in reporting a wandering dog can result in a dog being several kilometres away (in any direction) by the time a ranger is able to get to the site of the report and this often results in the dog being unable to be located.
Shire President Paul Omodei has asked for the community to report wandering dogs to the Shire "In order for the Shire rangers to effectively respond to issues associated with irresponsible dog owners, including wandering dogs, we need the help of responsible community members and ask that dog issues, particularly wandering dogs are reported directly to the Shire as soon as possible. Members of the public should not hesitate in reporting dog issues as the Shire tries where ever possible to work with and educate dog owners, particularly responsible dog owners, rather than impose the substantial fines that can be issued", he said.
Download responsible dog ownership brochure.
Download dog exercise areas brochure.
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Authorised by Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer
Contact Sheri Laba, Public Relations Officer
Contact for comment: Paul Omodei, Shire President
Contact: 0448 810 773