Dog owners: fines and infringement notices
If you don't keep control of your dog, allow a dog into a restricted area or if you abuse or neglect an animal, you can be fined or sent to prison — and banned from owning dogs in the future.
Fines and penalties
If you don't look after your dog properly, you can be fined by a dog control officer or dog ranger.
You can be fined $750 if you:
- obstruct a dog control officer
- refuse or fail to give information about yourself or your dog
- fail to supply or give false information about yourself or your dog
- give false information about the death of a dog
- own a dog when you're banned from having one
- release a dog that's been seized or impounded.
You can be fined $500 if you:
- mislead a buyer about a dangerous dog
- attempt to hide the identity of a dog by changing, removing, swapping or counterfeiting its registration details.
You can be fined $300 if you don't:
- register your dog
- get your dog microchipped
- control your dog properly after it's been classified as a dangerous dog
- look after your dog properly — including making sure it has food, water, shelter and exercise.
You can be fined $200 if you don't:
- keep your dog under control and on its leash in a public place
- keep a barking dog quiet after a noise complaint.
You can be fined $100 if you don't report:
- the sale or change of ownership of a dog
- a change of the dog's registered address.
Councils can also create other laws specific to your local area.
If you're found guilty of a more serious offence, much larger fines apply and you can be sent to prison.
Up to $10,000 fine, 1 year in prison or both
You can be fined up to $10,000 and be sentenced to a year in prison if you:
- allow a dog to enter a national park or other controlled area where dogs are banned from entry.
Up to $50,000 fine, 1 year in prison or both
You can be fined up to $50,000 and be sentenced to a year in prison if you:
- organise a dog fight
- watch a dog fight
- brand a dog causing pain and suffering
- confine or transport a dog in a way that causes pain and suffering
- mutilate a dog, eg ear cropping
- have major surgery done on a dog by anyone other than a vet
- perform any act that causes unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress
- abandon or neglect a dog.
Up to $75,000 fine, 3 years in prison or both
You can be fined up to $75,000 and be sentenced to 3 years in prison if you:
- recklessly or carelessly mistreat a dog.
Up to $100,000 fine, 5 years in prison or both
You can be fined up to $100,000 and be sentenced to 5 years in prison if you:
- deliberately mistreat a dog resulting in death, serious injury or permanent disability.
Businesses can also be fined up to $500,000 if they're involved in mistreating a dog.
Bans on dog ownership
Councils can ban you from owning a dog for up to 5 years if you're:
- fined 3 times within a 2-year period
- found guilty of a more serious offence.
If you're convicted in court, you can be banned from owning a dog for any period — including forever.
Courts and councils have the right to seize any animal you own if you're currently banned or if the animal is considered to be at risk.