City of Karratha

Responsible pet ownership

Here are the things you need to know if you own a pet in the City of Karratha...

Quick links:
Dog registrations
Impound information
Dog exercise areas
Dog attacks
Barking dogs
Dangerous/Restricted dogs
Unwanted dogs
Cats


Dogs

Ranger Services' main animal control task is the management of dogs within the City of Karratha. All dogs in the City over the age of three months must be microchipped and registered in the name of a person over the age of 18.


Dog registrations

Dog registrations expire on th 31st October each year. There are a number of registration types available:
1 year - unsterilised $50 | sterilised $20
3 years - unsterilised $120 | sterilised $42.50
Lifetime - unsterilised $250 | sterilised $100

More information is available on our dog registration form, available for download here.

  • It is an offence not to register your dog and you could be issued with a significant, on-the-spot fine for failing to do so.
  • Council needs to be notified in writing about any change of dog ownership so our registration records can be kept up to date.
  • Dog owners are expected to ensure that their pets are not a nuisance or dangerous to the community.
  • Dog owners have specific legal responsibilities, which are intended for the convenience of all the community.
  • If you have been issued with an infringement notice it can be paid at the City's administration office on Welcome Road, Karratha. 
  • There is a maximum of two (2) dogs permitted to live at an address without having to apply for a permit to keep additional dogs. An application for more than this prescribed number of dogs is available for download here.
  • We encourage all dog owners to sterilise their pets to prevent them contributing to the increasing population of unwanted dogs and puppies.

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Impounded

Our Rangers have the authority to impound wandering and/or dangerous dogs. If your dog is missing, it may have been picked up by a Ranger and taken to the City's Animal Pound Facility. Impounded dogs may be claimed by appointment Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am - 4pm or Thursday 9am - 5pm.

If your dog has been impounded, you will be required to pay an impound release fee of $91 and a daily sustenance fee of $25 may also apply. Dog owners are required to register their dog/s or provide proof of registration before the dog/s will be released. Proof of sterilisation is also required for registration purposes. Before coming in to pay the applicable fees, an appointment must be made for the return of your pet.

If your dog is found by one of our Rangers and is wearing a current City registration tag, the City of Karratha will attempt to contact you. A microchip will speed this process up. The City will hold your dog for 7 days before looking at rehoming or euthanasia.

Dogs that have been picked up by Ranger Services and are not registered (and we do not know who the owner is) or claimed within a minimum of 72 hours are re-homed where suitable.

If you’re looking for a new family pet you can view the dogs on the SAFE Karratha website.

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Off-lead Dog Exercise Areas

If your dog is easily controlled when off lead, you may take them to the following parks:

  • Tambrey Oval – Nickol
  • Mara Guthurra Park – Baynton West
  • Millars Well Oval – Millars Well
  • Pegs Creek Oval – Pegs Creek
  • Old KEC Oval – Bulgarra

Owners must have verbal control over their dog at all times and must be able to stop their dog from interfering with other people's enjoyment of the area. Dogs are required to stay on lead during sporting events and training and are not allowed to enter children’s play areas.  Download a map of the Dog Exercise Areas (1.5mb PDF).

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Dog attacks

To protect yourself from prosecution your dog’s containment is critical. If you are aware that your yard is not able to keep your dog confined, you must remedy this as a matter of urgency.

A dog attack includes a dog aggressively rushing at or attempting to attack a person or animal without injury or damage, as well as tearing clothing, biting, or causing physical injury.

There are very substantial penalties of up to $10,000 for a dog attack and $10,000 and/or 12 months jail for inciting a dog attack. The dog's owner or the person who has control of the dog at the time is also liable for any injury or damage to property resulting from a dog attack.

If you have been attacked by a dog, please contact Ranger Services 9186 8555 to report the incident. Dog attacks are taken very seriously and need to be reported immediately.

If your animal has been attacked, please contact a local veterinary clinic immediately. If you, a family member or friend has been attacked, medical attention is necessary even though most dog bites aren't fatal.

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Barking Dogs

Ranger Services understands the frustrations that a barking dog can cause, disrupting sleep and quality of life. The laws relating to dog nuisance are prescribed by State Legislation and local authorities are bound to follow that process.

What can you do?
It is important that you approach the dog’s owner as soon as the dog/s barking becomes a problem. This is the best solution, as in the vast majority of cases if the complainant approaches the dog owner in a courteous, informative and neighbourly fashion, both parties can work together to solve the barking issue.

Should you feel unable to approach your neighbour directly, write them a polite letter stating the effects the dog/s barking is having on you. This letter should not be anonymous as this will lead to bad feelings and cause a breakdown in communications. You should keep a copy of this letter for future reference and evidential purposes.

If these steps have been taken and after a reasonable time the barking is continuing or you are unable to approach or write to the dog's owner, please contact Ranger Services.

What can we do to help you?
Ranger Services will visit the dog's owners and explain the problem. In some instances the dog owner might not believe there is a problem or doesn't realise what their dog/s get up to when they aren’t present. To assist us we require some information such as days, times and what may be triggering the barking. Convincing a dog owner to change their pet's habits is not easy and the more information we have the easy and quicker we can help you.

To help Ranger Services help you, please download and complete the Barking Dogs Kit (414kb PDF).
Download the Barking Dogs brochure (0.8mb PDF) for more information on what you can do about barking dogs.

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Dangerous/Restricted breed dogs

Dangerous Dogs
If your dog displays behavioural problems it is important that you address them quickly and with appropriate training. Contact local animal behaviouralists for further information about training. 

The State Government has amended the Dog Act 1976 to allow Councils to declare certain dogs ‘dangerous’ for offences such as attacking or repeatedly rushing, threatening or chasing people or animals, escaping, and nuisance dogs. Once a dog is declared dangerous it will have to be muzzled at all times in public places and when not in an approved enclosure, it must be held on a leash by a person who has reached 18 years of age and is capable of controlling the dog.

An owner who fails to comply with a declaration order on their dog may be fined up to $10,000 with a minimum fine amount of $500. Residents are entitled to take a leisurely walk in our community without the concern of being attacked or hindered by dogs that are not controlled. Even the most behaved dogs can be disconcerting to people when roaming unattended. You may think your dog is totally harmless and unlikely to attack a person, however, roaming dogs are often guilty of approaching and attacking other dogs.

Restricted Breeds
The Dog (Restricted Breeds) Regulations (No2) 2002 declares 5 breeds of dog as restricted. These breeds and any dog that is a cross of any of these breeds or visibly contains any of its features is classed as a restricted breed dog.
Under regulation 3 “Restricted Breed” dogs are:

  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese tosa
  • American pit bull terrier
  • Pit bull terrier
  • Any dog prohibited under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956

My dog is one of these breeds or cross breed, what do I now need to do?
The Regulations outline what an owner or a person in charge or control of one of these dogs must do. These are not optional. They are set out in law and penalties are prescribed if they are not done.

  1. The dog must wear a distinctive collar at all times (In public or in private)
  2. The dogs enclosure must be constructed so that it is escape proof and so young children cannot get in to it. This also applies to any place where the dog is temporarily kept or visiting.
  3. Every entrance to the premises where the dog is kept must display a specific “Dangerous Dog” warning sign.
  4. At anytime the dog is in a public place it must be muzzled in a way to prevent it biting a person or animal.
  5. At all times the dog is in a public place it must be held on a leash by a person capable of controlling the dog.
  6. The owner or the person in control of the dog in a public place must be 18 years of age or over.
  7. No more than two restricted breed dogs can be owned by any one person or registered at any one address.
  8. All restricted breed dogs must be sterilised and proof to this must be shown to the Local Government.
  9. Must immediately notify the City of Karratha if the dog is missing or the place where the dog is ordinarily kept changes.
  10. Notify any buyer of a restricted breed dog that the dog is a restricted breed.
  11. You must not sell or give a restricted breed dog to a person under 18years of age.

I have one of these breeds or a cross breed but it isn't dangerous?
The Dog (Restricted Breeds) Regulations (No2) 2002 does not declare these dogs dangerous. It is not regulating the individual dog but the breed or cross breed. You will still need to comply with the requirements even if you perceive there is no threat from your dog.

What can happen if I don't comply with the Regulations?
The regulations have clear provisions for non compliance. There are court imposed penalties of up to $10,000.00 for each offense. Breaches against the provisions for the collar, containment, muzzle, control in public and sterilisation can result in the seizure of the dog and may also result in the dog being destroyed.

What if I disagree or can't comply with the requirements?
If you disagree with any requirement laid upon you or are having difficulty complying,  Notify the City of Karratha and seek clarification or seek you own independent legal advise. Do not leave it until the last minute. You need to act before any stipulated time frames. Whilst you are obtaining legal advise, you may still need to comply with the direction given by the Local Government. Advise the City of Karratha early of your intentions.

Where do I obtain the items required?
Local vets, animal product suppliers or a internet search will give you various options. 

For more information contact Ranger Services on: (08) 9186 8555 or enquiries@karratha.wa.gov.au PO Box 219 KARRATHA WA 6714

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Unwanted dogs

If you have a dog that you are no longer able to keep, you can advertise for it to go to a new home. Contact SAFE Karratha on (08) 9185 4634. Rangers do not collect unwanted dogs.

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Cats

Ranger Services also manage cats within the City of Karratha. All cats in the City over the age of six months must be sterilised, microchipped and registered in the name of a person over the age of 18.


Cat registrations

The Cat Act 2011 requires that all cats over the age of six months be sterilised, microchipped and registered with their relevant local government. Registration forms can be obtained from the City of Karratha Administration Office on Welcome Road, Karratha, the Karratha and Roebourne Libraries or you can Download the Cat Registration Form here (290kb PDF).

Yearly registration:        $20.00 per cat
Three year registration:     $42.50 per cat
Lifetime registration:           $100.00 per cat

Pension card holders can receive a 50% discount on registration fees. Pensioner concessions can only be applied on production of a current Pensioner Concession Card, State Concession Card, Veteran’s Card or Senior’s Card together with a Commonwealth Senior’s Health Card.

The City of Karratha Animals, Environment and Nuisance Local Law 2011 currently allows each household to keep a maximum of three cats.


Responsible cat ownership

  • Contain your cat on your own property;
  • Ensure your cat is easily identifiable with a collar, name tag with owner phone number and a registration tag;
  • Microchip and sterilise your cat;
  • Keep your cat(s) in at night.

Download the Responsible Cat Ownership Brochure (0.5mb PDF)


Lost cats

Contact your local veterinary hospital or SAFE to see if your cat has been handed in, and speak to your neighbours to see if they have seen your cat. If you don’t have any luck, contact Ranger Services on 9186 8555.


Cat breeders

If you are a current cat breeder or wish to become a breeder you must apply for a cat breeding permit from your local government. Conditions apply to cat breeding permits and a non-refundable fee is payable upon lodgement of an application.  If your application is approved, a Cat Breeder certificate will be issued and is valid for 12 months from the date of approval, with annual renewal and inspections conducted. Penalties of up to $5000 may apply for unapproved breeding.


The Cat Act 2011

The Cat Act 2011 requires that all cats over the age of six months must be sterilised, microchipped and registered with their relevant local government. Your cat will be required to wear a collar and registration tag to ensure they can be easily identified and returned to you if they become lost.
Note: Requests for exemption from sterilisation and/or microchipping of your cat will only be considered if supported by an exemption certificate from your local veterinarian and only if detrimental to cats health.

The main purpose of the Cat Act 2011 is to:

  • encourage responsible cat ownership;
  • provide better control and management of stray and unwanted cats;
  • reduce large numbers euthanised each year;
  • ensure your cat, by registration and microchipping, can be returned to you should it stray.

My cat is very old – do I still need to have it sterilised?
Yes, legislation applies to all cats of all ages. However, your vet can issue an exemption certificate if sterilising your cat is likely to have a negative impact on your cat’s health and welfare.

How does this affect cat breeders?

The legislation requires that a person who chooses to breed cats must apply to their local government for a permit.
When a cat is sold or given away, the seller must ensure the cat is microchipped and sterilised prior to transfer.
If the cat cannot be sterilised due to its health or age, the seller must issue a prepaid sterilisation voucher to the new owner.

What concessions or assistance will be available for pensioners or low income earners?
The Government has provided funding to assist and provide low cost sterilisation for cats owned by pensioners and people on low income. Pensioners will also receive a discount on registration fees.

Where can I get more information?
For more information, including tips for being a responsible cat owner, visit the Department of Local
Government and Communities’ Responsible Cat Ownership web page at:http://dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/Legislation/ResponsibleCatOwnership.aspx

For more FAQs visit http://dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/Legislation/CatActFAQs.aspx


Nuisance cat behaviour

If you have problems with neighbouring cats on your property or if you have been approached regarding your own cat causing problems within the neighbourhood, first try to discuss ways to alleviate the problems with your neighbours.

  • If you are unable to or cannot approach an owner, consider placing a letter in their mailbox advising details of the problems caused.
  • Sometimes owners are unaware that their cat is causing a nuisance and will take steps to alleviate the problem once made aware of the situation.
  • If you are unable to locate an owner or are unsure where it has come from, discuss with Ranger Services what alternative methods you can implement to alleviate or deter the problems

Stray or feral cats

If you believe there is a stray or feral cat(s) on your property you must first check with your neighbours to ensure the cat(s) are in fact stray or feral and not a pet. 

If you have asked Rangers to capture a cat you will be requested to assist by gathering relevant information about the cat and its behaviour prior to any attempt at capture. Ranger Services require written permission from property owners to enter and capture the cat(s).


Captured/seized cats

Cats may be seized by Ranger Services where they are found wandering in public areas or on private property without the owner’s consent; however the capture of cats is a last resort option for Rangers. If your cat is impounded there will be an impound fee payable prior to release.  It is a requirement of the Cat Act 2011 that your cat is registered, microchipped and sterilised prior to release.


Additional resources

For more information, including tips for being a responsible cat owner and/or breeder, visit the Department of Local Government and Communities Responsible Cat Ownership web page at: http://dlg.wa.gov.au/Content/Legislation/ResponsibleCatOwnership.aspx or contact 1800 620 511

Legal Aid WA - 1300 650 579 www.legalaid.wa.gov.au

 

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