What is a dog at large?
A dog is considered at large when it is not under effective control. For example, walking the dog off a lead (not in a designated off lead area) or the dog is out roaming free and uncontained.
Reporting a dog at large
If you observe a dog at large please report it to council as soon as possible by
Procedure for a dog at large
- When you report a dog at large, our regulatory administration team will ask about details of the dog and the location.
- A ranger will be dispatched to attend and investigate.
- If the dog is secured by the ranger, they will scan the dog for a microchip and see if the dog has any tags.
- If the dog has a microchip, has a visible City of Darwin tag, is currently registered with City of Darwin and has no history of being at large, the ranger may call the owner to return the dog home. The owner may be issued with a dog at large infringement.
- If the dog does not have a microchip, a City of Darwin tag is not visible or if the dog has a history of being at large, the dog may be taken to the pound.
- If the dog is not secured by the ranger but the address is known, the ranger may issue a Dog at Large notice to the owner and a Fail to Contain infringement may be issued once sufficient evidence is obtained.
- If the dog is not sighted by the ranger and the address is not known, no further action will be taken.
Enforcement – Section 47 Proper containment of dogs and cats
If we receive more reports of a dog at large and sufficient evidence is provided/obtained, Council may issue the dog owner a Fail to Contain Dog infringement and a ‘show cause’ letter may also be issued.
In more serious instances the dog may be seized under a Warrant. In this instance, the dog will then be impounded and held for four days. If the owner makes no attempt to contact Council or find an alternate property outside the Darwin Municipality, the dog may be rehomed or euthanised.