Council performs a range of functions relating to the management and responsible keeping of dogs in our community.
Responsible dog ownership
Residents are advised that it is their responsibility to keep their dogs under control at all times. Substantial fines can be imposed on the owners of dogs that create a nuisance. Council’s Animal Management Officers regularly patrol the Municipality and dogs found at large will be impounded.
Please remember these important points:
- Not all dogs are friendly – don’t let your dog rush up to other animals.
- Not all people want to interact with dogs – do not allow your dog to approach people without their consent.
- At all times dogs must be in sight of the owner and responsive to a command.
Council Officers spends large amount of time dealing with the associated problems caused by the issue of excessive barking. Whilst all dogs bark, excessive barking can quickly become a source of irritation for neighbours.
Section 46(3) of the Dog Control Act 2000 states a dog is a nuisance if:
- it behaves in a manner that is injurious or dangerous to the health of any person; or
- it creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, that persistently occurs or continues to such an extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any premises or public place
Try the following steps to attempt to resolve the issue in a neighbourly manner.
Approach the dog’s owner when the problem arises and state your case clearly and politely. In some cases they may not realise that the barking is causing a problem, particularly if it is happening when they are not home.
If the dog owner is unapproachable or you are not comfortable approaching them, try placing the ‘Hello Neighbour’ letter into their letterbox.
If the neighbour takes no action or does not agree that a problem exists, you can contact us and speak to one of our Animal Management Officers.
If you need to make a complaint it needs to be made in writing. Please include as much as detail as possible such as the address, dates, times and duration of the nuisance barking. You may find this log helpful to record this.
When investigating barking complaints, Council compiles a detailed list of dates, times and possible causes for the dog’s barking.
We will work with the dog owner to help them with the nuisance barking. The most important issue is for the owner to be made aware of the nuisance and to be advised as to the best methods available to alleviate the problem.
Sorell Council enforce the Dog Control Act 2000 and implements the Sorell Council Dog Management Plan which outlines the steps for dealing with nuisance dogs – Dog Management Plan
Picking up after your dog
Dog faeces is unsightly and unpleasant. It can also cause problems for our community and environment and can pollute the beach and river, and can be a breeding ground for diseases in dogs and humans. Things to remember when walking your dog:
- When exercising your dog always carry a pooper bag to collect your dog’s waste. You can use freezer bags or plastic bags too.
- Dispose of waste responsibly.
- In accordance with the Dog Control Act 2000 you are required to clean up after your dog. If your dog is caught leaving excrement in a public place and it is not removed, you may be issued with an infringement notice and be fined.
Council provides disposal bins in many areas throughout the community:
- Carlton – Carlton Park Surf Club car park
- Connellys Marsh
- Dodges Ferry – Dodges Ferry Boat Ramp (Tigerhead Beach)
- Dodges Ferry – Red Ochre Beach (x2)
- Dodges Ferry – Park Beach car park
- Dodges Ferry – Okines Beach
- Dodges Ferry – Carlton Beach Road (various locations)
- Dunalley – Dog Exercise Area
- Garry Street
- Lewisham – Jones Bay
- Marion Bay – Public car park
- Midway Point – Lake Vue Parade and Brady Street
- Orielton Lagoon Loop – Miena Park section (x2)
- Orielton Lagoon Loop – Corner of Shark Point & Penna Road
- Penna – Penna Beach
- Primrose Sands – Primrose Sands beach car parks at each end (x2) and Esplanade
- Primrose Sands – Esplanade
- Sorell – Dog Exercise Area (Montagu Street)
- Sorell – Midway Point Causeway (x2)
If your dog is impounded you must contact Animal Management staff on 6269 0000 to arrange a time to collect your dog.
A release fee and a daily pound fee will need to be paid before your dog can be released. Your dog will also need to be registered before it can be released from the pound if it isn’t already registered.
An infringement notice will be issued under the Dog Control Act 2000 under section 16(1) – Failure to ensure a dog is not at large for any impounded dogs captured by Council Officers (1 Penalty Unit).
Kennel licences are required if 3 or more dogs over the age of 6 months reside at a property. A person may have up to 4 working dogs before a licence is required. A working dog is considered to be a dog principally used for:
- droving or tending livestock;
- detecting illegal substances;
- searching, tracking or rescuing;
- working with Police officers.
A person applying for a new kennel licence must advertise in the public notices of the Mercury newspaper and any person living within 200m of the kennel may make a representation. Council may grant the licence with conditions or refuse to grant a licence.
Please take the time to read through the following information as it answers many commonly asked questions and is designed to assist you when submitting an application for a kennel licence.
The above Act and the Regulations made under the Act contain a number of procedures that must be followed by an applicant prior to, and when lodging their application. Similarly the Act also describes the manner in which Council will process the application. To enable your application to be dealt within the shortest possible time please ensure that all relevant information is provided.
Should you require further information or assistance please do not hesitate to contact Council’s Animal Management staff on 03 6269 0000.
When is a Kennel Licence required?
Where a person keeps more than two (2) dogs (or, in the case of working dogs, four dogs) on any property they must apply to the General Manager for a Kennel Licence.
How to apply for a Kennel Licence
You must publish a “Notice of Intention to Apply for Kennel Licence” in a daily newspaper circulated throughout the Municipality of Sorell. To comply with this requirement it is suggested that you place your notice in the Public Notices section of the Mercury Newspaper on any day, except Sunday.
The notice must be in the prescribed form (application form below).
Keep a copy of the advertisement as you will need this as proof of publication. It is recommended that the entire page of the newspaper on which the advertisement appears be submitted with your application. This will provide proof of the date advertised.
Complete the “Application for Kennel Licence”. Use the check list on the back of the form to ensure that your application can be processed.
Lodge the application together with the prescribed fee and a copy of the newspaper notice containing proof of the date advertised within 3 days after publication of the notice.
Who may object to the granting of the licence?
Any person residing or owning land within two hundred (200) metres of the property boundary where the dogs are to be kept may submit a written objection to the General Manager within fourteen (14) days of publication of the “Notice of Intention to Apply for Kennel Licence”. The reasons for the objection must be clearly set out.
How does Council process the application?
Council cannot consider the application until twenty eight (28) days after the publication of the “Notice of Intention to Apply for Kennel Licence”.
A Council Officer will inspect the property including all kennels and yards.
The application will not be considered until all dogs kept on the property are registered.
How does Council reach a decision?
In reaching a decision as to whether to grant a licence and if so what conditions, if any, shall apply to the licence, the General Manager may take into account any relevant objections.
The site inspection report will be considered together with any other matters that relate to public health and environmental laws.
The likelihood of the dogs creating a nuisance by barking or otherwise will be taken into consideration.
Once a decision has been made, Council will notify the applicant of the outcome of their application.
Where the application is successful the licence will be issued together with a covering letter drawing the licence holder’s attention to the conditions that apply to the licence, and notification of the date that the licence expires.
Where a licence is refused the applicant will receive written notification.
Can Council refuse to grant, renew or cancel a licence?
The General Manager may refuse to grant a licence if of the opinion that:
- The premises are unfit for the purpose of keeping the number and type of dogs applied for;
- It would be in the public interest not to grant the licence.
Renewal of a licence may be refused if Council is of the opinion that:
- The requirements of the Dog Control Act and the Public Health Act are not being complied with;
- The condition of the premises is creating a nuisance;
- The requirements of the Dog Control Regulations are not being complied with;
- It is in the public interest that the licence not be renewed.
A licence may be cancelled at any time if Council is satisfied that:
- The premises do not comply with the Dog Control Regulations;
- Laws relating to public health and environmental protection are not being complied with.
What if Council refuses to grant or renew a licence, or intends to cancel a licence?
You may appeal to a magistrate. An appeal shall:
- Be instituted by giving written notice to the Clerk of Petty Sessions on the prescribed form;
- Be accompanied by the prescribed fee;
- Be made within the prescribed time (21 days of the date of Council notification);
- Otherwise be instituted in the prescribed manner.
At the hearing of an appeal the magistrate may:
- Dismiss the appeal; or
- Direct the Council to grant or renew the licence; quash the Council’s decision to cancel the licence, subject to any conditions the magistrate thinks fit;
- Council must comply with any directions given to it by the magistrate.
Specifications for the construction of kennels and yards
The following specifications are those laid down in the Dog Control Regulations as the minimum required for the construction of kennels and yards on licensed premises.
- The kennel or yard shall be at least 9 metres from any dwelling house;
- The kennel or yards shall be at least 2 metres from any boundary of the premises on which the yard is constructed;
- The premises shall be enclosed in such a manner so as to contain any dogs kept in the kennel or yard;
- The kennel or yards shall be constructed in such a way as to provide effective methods of cleaning and disinfection;
- There shall be sufficient room to allow dogs reasonable freedom of movement;
- There shall be a raised suitable sleeping area;
- Adequate ventilation and insulation shall be provided to maintain a comfortable internal temperature, freedom from condensation, and an adequate supply of fresh air;
- A sanitary method of disposal of excreta and waste shall be provided.
Where the General Manager is satisfied that adequate provisions for health, welfare and control of the dogs are provided, and that no nuisance to any other person will occur, and all laws relating to public health and environmental protection will be satisfied, Council may issue a kennel licence.
Will planning and building approval be required?
Under normal circumstances planning and building approval is not required if the dogs are kept as pets, working or hunting dogs, or for show purposes. However, if the total floor area of the kennels exceeds ten (10) square metres the above approvals may be required.
Under the Sorell Interim Planning Scheme 2015, Animal Keeping – means any land used for the breeding, boarding or keeping of animals, if the animals are kept in pens, caged or other small enclosures, including the use of premises for a cattery, kennel or stable.
The following zonings are the only areas under the Sorell Planning Scheme in which Council will consider an application for a kennel licence.
Low Density Residential B Industrial
Low Density Residential C Forestry
Village Special Purpose
Council may grant a licence which is subject to one or more conditions. Where a licence is granted for the keeping of dogs on premises that do not meet the above mentioned specifications, it can be expected that the licence will be subject to a number of condition.
Licence holders should be aware that failure to comply with the conditions listed on the licence may result in the cancellation or non-renewal of the licence.
Renewal of licence
Kennel licenses expire on the 30th of June each year.
Licenses may be renewed for a further twelve months upon payment of the prescribed fee and a satisfactory inspection of the premises by a Council Officer.
Can the licence be transferred to another person or property?
Licenses are not transferable from one person to another, nor are they transferable from property to property, therefore if you:-
- Sell your property and the new owner requires a kennel licence; or
- You move to another property and wish to retain your licence:
A new application will need to be submitted.
For costs of a Kennel Licence please see our Fees and Charges
Apart from the fees, an applicant will need to meet the costs of publishing their intention to apply for a licence.
The Act states that a person who keeps more than two dogs (or in the case of working dogs , four dogs) over the age of six months, on any premises not being licensed premises, is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of 5 penalty units.
Normally an Authorised Officer would issue an Infringement Notice for unlicensed premises 1 penalty unit. Non payment of this fine would then involve the above action being taken.
Prohibited Public Areas – AT ALL times of the year :
- Any area within 10 metres of a playground;
- Any grounds of a crèche, kindergarten or school without the permission of the person in charge;
- Shop or shopping centre;
- Any playing area of a sports ground on which sport is played.
*Guide dogs and hearing dogs are exempt from this prohibition.*
We have two off-lead dog parks in our Municipality to exercise and socialise your dog:
Montagu Street, Sorell
Rantons Road, Dodges Ferry
Dog exercise area maps are available below:
Dog registration fees are due annually on 1 July and should be paid immediately to avoid the issue of an infringement notice.
Cats are an important part of our community. They make wonderful pets and provide joy, comfort and support for many owners. But if we don’t manage them well, cats can also be a nuisance in the community and a threat to our native wildlife.
Council recommends keeping your cat indoors at all time, or in a safe enclosure outside.
Responsibilities of Cat Ownership – what you need to know
The Cat Management Act is the principal legislation for the control and management of cats in Tasmania. You can view the legislation here – Cat Management Act 2009
In 2017, the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan was released which represents the first comprehensive and collaborative approach to managing cats in Tasmania. The Plan recognises that cat management is a shared responsibility across all levels of government, business and the community and includes actions to:
- Encourage and improve education on responsible cat ownership.
- Improve the welfare of cats.
- Provide for the effective management of domestic and stray cats.
- Reduce the impact of cats on Tasmania’s natural environment.
From 1 March 2022, new requirements on cat owners have been introduced, these are:
- All cats over the age of four months must be desexed and microchipped (exemptions apply).
- A person wanting to breed a cat must be a registered breeder or hold a cat breeding permit.
- A limit of four cats over the age of four months can be kept on an individual property without a permit.
- Cats that are sold or given away must be more than eight weeks old, desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, had at least one treatment for internal worms and be free of external parasites.
- A person is permitted to trap, seize and humanely destroy cats in certain circumstances.
For more information on these changes please see the below links:
Has your cat been handed to a cat management facility?
If your cat ends up at a cat management facility it will be scanned for a microchip. If the cat is microchipped, the facility will try to contact the owner of the cat via the details provided on the microchip records.
Cat management facilities are required to hold microchipped cats for five days and non-microchipped cats for three days, to provide the opportunity for cats and their owners to be re-united. After this time, the facility may re-home the cat.
Before you can reclaim your cat, the facility must ensure the cat is microchipped and desexed.
Exemptions to microchipping will apply where a vet certifies that microchipping may adversely affect the health and welfare of the cat.
Exemptions to desexing will apply to a cat where:
- A vet certifies that desexing may adversely affect the health and welfare of the cat.
- The cat is owned by a registered breeder for the purpose of breeding.
- The holds a cat breeding permit in relation to the cat.
- Arrangements have been made with a veterinary surgeon to desex the cat.
You will be charged for the costs associated with your cat being microchipped and/or desexed, as well as any other costs that have been incurred in housing your cat.
More information and resources available from
Getting community involved to discuss what the issues are and share ideas on how to improve the welfare of local cats will help us protect native wildlife and reduce the nuisance caused by roaming, stray and feral cats.
Information from the project will also enable cat management strategies to be developed that help decrease the number of shelter intake and reduce the number of roaming stray, feral and owned cats around the Midway Point area.
How you can get involved
If you see wandering livestock on the roads or road verge please report it to Tasmania Police on 131 444.
Livestock welfare concerns should be directed to the RSPCA.