Council puts dog management costs back on pet owners with increased fees

Council puts dog management costs back on pet owners with increased fees

Owners of impounded dogs will be charged $29 for the release of their beloved pooch as part of a new fee structure being introduced by Grant District Council.

Council will introduce a new release fee for impounded dogs when the 2024-25 dog registrations come into effect on July 1.

Other existing impounding fees set to rise include the standard impounding fee which will increase to $70 and daily holding to $29.

The decision was made at council’s March monthly meeting.

In a report presented to elected members, Environmental Services director Leith McEvoy compared fees from previous financial years.

In 2021-23 and 2022-23 the fee increased each year by $1 for standard dog registrations and by $2 for non-standard.

However, in the years since 2023-24 the increase has doubled.

This coming 2024-25 registration period will be no exception with standard fees to increase by $2 to $41 and non-standard by $4 to $82 per dog.

“This will result in a fee structure that maintains the median charge of the 68 councils in South Australia,” Mr McEvoy said.

“Dog registrations are based on two main categories.

“Standard dog is a dog that is both desexed and microchipped, and non-standard is all other dogs.”

Mr McEvoy said non-standard dogs included those exempt from rules around desexing or microchipping, such as dogs belonging to registered breeders and working livestock dogs.

“Currently there are 2917 dogs recorded on the DACO system that are in our council area,” he said.

The previous registration period, 2876 dogs were recorded on the DACO system for the Grant council area.

DACO require all fees to be approved by council prior to the end of May and entered on the online system by the first week of June annually.

Dog registrations expire annually on June 30 and registrations must be renewed annually by August 31.

In accordance with the Dog and Cat Management Act, all dogs aged three months or older must be registered within 14 days of ownership.

All dogs aged three months must be microchipped and desexed before six months of age.

Anyone who breeds dogs must be a registered breeder.

The expiation for keeping an unregistered dog older than three months of age is $170.

Any lost dog or dogs causing a nuisance, wandering at large or responsible for harassing, chasing or attacking should be reported to council immediately.

Mr McEvoy said 12% of regional and rural council dog registration fees were kept by DACO.

“The revenue generated allows council to fund the administration and enforcement costs associated with the management of dogs in our council area,” he said.

“As a general principle, the costs associated with the management of dogs should largely be borne by dog owners, rather than by all ratepayers.

“Current income from dog registration and associated dog control fees in 2023-24 is approximately $115,984.”

“Direct expenses were $124,728 and in-direct expenses $68,162 resulting in a net cost to Council of $76,906 year to date.

“The costs associated with dog control include staff salaries, training, Workcover, information technology, administration, legal fees, rehoming, DACO, and other general expenses.”

As of July 2018, amendments to the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 made it compulsory for all dogs and cats to be microchipped.

Certain exemptions apply to working dogs and registered breeders.

Council is yet to resolve to introduce the registration of cats at this time.

More information is available on council’s website at

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