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Dogs & Cats

Dogs & Cats

The City of Holdfast Bay encourages responsible pet ownership in line with the Dog and Cat Management Board laws to ensure pets and people live in harmony.

Dog owners are urged to ensure their pets are on a lead at the beach, between 10am – 8pm during daylight savings.

Registering my dog & cat

The Dog and Cat Management Board (DACO) has a statewide dog and cat registration website. The site is available for pet owners to register, update and renew their pets’ registration each financial year.

Renewals are due to be sent in June. Please check all details are correct and updated including any desexing or microchipping details.

All dogs and cats are required to be registered and registration is renewed every year to keep details up to date. Please ensure your pet's registration renewal is completed by 31 August each year.

Your pet now receives a lifetime registration number. Discs are no longer posted annually. Dog owners will receive a plastic disc with the registration number.

If the disc is lost, you can purchase a new one through DACO. Alternatively, the registration number (listed on your profile) can be engraved on a personal tag at the dog owner’s cost and design. It is encouraged to also include a mobile number to contact if the pet does wander.

Walking your dog

When walking your dogs in public they are required to be on a lead. However, they can be exercised off the lead in the City of Holdfast Bay’s reserves but must be under effective control at all times.

Effective control off leash is when the dog;

  • responds immediately to voice commands.
  • remains in close proximity and visible at all times (not behind you).
  • does not approach other people, animals, or birds unless the other person permits.

On-leash/Off-leash times

During daylight savings time, any dog on the beach must be on a lead between the hours of 10am and 8pm.

If in the hooded plover breeding area dogs must be on a leash at all times. Signs are displayed marking these areas.

Dover Square has a restricted dog on-leash area, please refer to the sign at the reserve.

Dog Tidy Bags

Dog tidy bags are required when walking your dogs. Biodegradable dog tidy bags are available from the Brighton Civic Centre and the Glenelg or Brighton libraries. They are also available at various locations throughout the City of Holdfast Bay.

Dog Tidy Bag Locations PDF

Pet Owner FAQs

We encourage potential pet owners to go to the Dog and Cat Board’s website for information on purchasing and tips for looking after a pet.

Breeders of dogs and cats are required to be registered through DACO and should be purchased through these registered breeders only.

It is a requirement that all dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed and microchipped. Dogs and cats born before this date may receive exemptions in certain circumstances. However, owners are encouraged to look for discount microchipping days through

If your pet is staying with someone else for more than 14 days, please ensure that you update the pet’s registration profile on DACO. Please include the temporary address and the carer’s contact details. If the pet escapes, Council will be able to contact the owner.

Events that involve loud music or noises may affect your pets and compromise their safety. These can include concerts, fireworks, or thunderstorms.

Below are some suggestions on how to prepare your pets for these events and keep them safe:

  • Microchip your pets in case they escape the yard.
  • Have an ID tag on your pet’s collar with your phone number.
  • Exercise your pet before the event. This can alleviate anxiety.
  • Keep your pet inside for the duration of the event.
  • If pets are outside, ensure fences are secure and cannot be jumped.
  • Allow your pet to find a space they feel safe.
  • Stay home with your pet during the event if possible.
  • Reward your pet for calm behaviour.
  • Close windows and doors to minimise the level of noise.
  • Put on music or TV to distract your pet.

It is a valuable experience to take the time to train your dog. Training your dog is a chance to strengthen your bond and provide a quality base to promote good behaviour.
There are many training organisations and puppy schools available in Adelaide and we recommend that pet owners research to find one that is suitable for you and your pet.

There is a limit on the number of dogs and cats permitted to be housed at a property

  • Dogs - 1 dog in a unit and 2 dogs in a house
  • Cats - 2 cats on a property.

Owners can apply to Council to obtain approval to exceed these limits. Please complete the Application for additional dog and cat form and return it to Council prior to acquiring additional pets or moving to the council area.

Request for additional dog and cat form

Dog and Cat Complaints

We encourage residents to speak with their dog or cat-owning neighbour in the first instance to resolve minor matters. However, Council is available to assist and investigate more serious matters.

It is normal for dogs to bark, this is how they communicate. However, if you are concerned about the persistence of the barking which is causing a nuisance to you, it is best to speak to the dog owner in the first instance. They may not be aware. A friendly approach may assist in a quick solution.

Alternatively, you can use Council’s Dog Barking Neighbour advice letter and drop it in their letterbox.

If this approach has not resolved the matter, you can make a formal complaint to Council. Please download and complete the Complaint Form Noise nuisance created by a dog' to provide the supporting evidence for Council to speak with the dog owner.

Council cannot take action without comprehensive diarised evidence indicating a nuisance is occurring. Please be aware that the information on this form may be used as evidence for enforcement purposes and so must be a true and accurate record

For further information please call 8299 9999 or email

Should you or your pet become the victim of a dog attack or harassment, please report the incident to us at the earliest opportunity. If required, please ensure medical treatment is sought first.

Our Animal Management Officer will investigate and take formal statements from you and the dog owner. All statements and evidence will be taken into consideration and where required; enforcement action may be taken. Serious matters may result in control orders.

Please contact us at 8229 9999 or email to report the incident.


Given the opportunity, cats can wander from their property. Under Council's Cat Bylaw, it is an offense for a cat to wander onto someone else’s property without their permission. Cat owners need to take steps to avoid this. Information on cat ownership can be found on the Dog and Cat Management website.

As a property owner, there are steps you can take to restrict a cat’s access to your property.

  • Try gently squirting the cat on its body (not the face) with a spray bottle, nothing pressurized. This is only effective if consistent.
  • Keep the area wet. Cats generally don't like to have wet, muddy feet.
  • Place citrus peel, sprigs of rue (herb), pepper, or citronella oil on the ground. Cats do not like these smells.
  • Use a cat-repellent spray or gel (available from plant nurseries or vets).
  • Spread Vaseline on the fence posts and post tops - this will make the posts slippery and the cats will not be able to grip the greasy surface.
  • Attach old CDs onto a string with knots keeping them apart. The reflecting light helps to deter cats.
  • Clean away rubbish, brush, and other clutter that can harbour mice, rats, and other small prey that cats love to pursue.
  • Ensure that all access points for cats are boarded up. This includes all holes allowing access to sheds, garages, or under decks and porches. Stray cats and their prey may take up refuge in these places.
  • If cleaning cat urine, do not use ammonia-based products as this will attract cats.

Cats are creatures of habit and not all methods will work for every cat. Each deterrent should be trialled for two weeks to break the habit.

If you know where the cat lives, you can try to speak to your neighbour or you can download our Dear Neighbour letter (PDF)

If this does not resolve the issue, contact Council and the Community Safety Team can make contact with them. Please ensure that you have confirmed that the cat is from this property. Please email or call 8229 9999 with the details.

No. Do not feed a cat that does not belong to you. Feeding a cat that is not yours is not caring for it. Feeding cats encourages them to return to that location. This can contribute to a wider problem in the neighbourhood, creating a nuisance for yourself and your neighbours.

Trapping a cat is the last resort. A resident can only place traps on their own property. It is not permitted to enter another property unlawfully in order to trap a cat.

Identified Cats

It is an offense under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 to trap an identified cat. Identification includes wearing a collar, or a cat that has a visible tattoo inside one of its ears which indicates that it is microchipped.

If you trap a cat that can be identified you must release it immediately in the same location where it was trapped.

Unidentified Cats

If the cat is unidentified it must be taken to a shelter or vet within 12 hours of trapping. The resident hiring the trap is responsible for the surrender of the animal and any associated costs involved. Shelters are struggling to cope with the influx of unidentified cats, ideally, trapping is not encouraged. It is recommended that other deterrents are used first.

Animal Management Directions Plan

Lost and Found Animals

A lost or found animal should be reported to our Animal Management Officers.

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