CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023

CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023
CITY OF MITCHAM
      DOG AND CAT
MANAGEMENT PLAN
        2018-2023
CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023
DOG AND CAT
                MANAGEMENT PLAN
             2018-23 ENDORSED BY
            COUNCIL ON 8 MAY 2018
          AND BECAME OPERATIONAL
                ON THE 1 JULY 2018.




      AROUND 63%
    OF AUSTRALIAN
  HOUSEHOLDS OWN
   A PET – 39% OWN
      A DOG WHILST
29% OF HOUSEHOLDS
         OWN A CAT.
CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 1




                                            CONTENTS
                                            EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                               2
                                            1    SUMMARY OF KEY RECOMMENDATIONS                                             3
                                            2.   INTRODUCTION                                                               4
                                            3.   HOW DID WE PREPARE THE PLAN?                                               6
                                            4.   BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT TO THE PLAN                                         8
                                                 4.1 MITCHAM PROFILE                                                        8
                                                 4.2 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PLAN 2017-2022                                    9
                                                 4.3 LEGISLATION AND BY-LAWS                                               10
                                                 4.4 COUNCIL’S EXISTING ANIMAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE                          11
                                                 4.5 SECOND DOG PARK                                                       12
                                                 4.6 STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS                                             13
                                            5.   INVESTIGATIONS AND COMMUNITY FEEDBACK                                     14
                                                 5.1 STATISTICS                                                            14
                                                 5.2 OUTCOMES OF THE 2012-2017 PLAN                                        15
                                                 5.3 COMMUNITY FEEDBACK                                                    15
                                                 5.4 STAFF FEEDBACK                                                        16
                                                 5.5 DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS                                        17
                                            6.   OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIES AND KEY PERFORMANCE MEASURES                       20
                                                 6.1 DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT                                                20
                                                 6.2 DOG MANAGEMENT                                                        25
                                                 6.3 CAT MANAGEMENT                                                        29
                                                 6.4 STAFFING THE ANIMAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE                                30
                                                 6.5 MONITORING AND REVIEW                                                 30
                                            APPENDIX 1: ON LEASH PARKS, OFF LEASH PARKS, PARKS WHERE DOGS ARE
                                            PROHIBITED AND OFF LEASH PARKS IDENTIFIED THAT COULD BE ENHANCED OVER
                                            THE LIFE OF THE PLAN IN THE CITY OF MITCHAM:                          32
                                            APPENDIX 2: COMMUNITY FEEDBACK                                                 34
                                            APPENDIX 3: ANIMAL MANAGEMENT STATISTICS                                       41
                                            APPENDIX 4: COMPILATION OF PROPOSED ACTIONS                                    43
                                                6.1 MANDATORY MICROCHIPPING                                                43
                                                6.1 MANDATORY DESEXING                                                     43
                                                6.1 RESPONSIBLE DOG AND CAT OWNERSHIP                                      44
                                                6.1 BREEDER REGISTRATION                                                   44
                                                6.1 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT                                                   45
                                                6.2 DOG REGISTRATION                                                       45
                                                6.2 DOGS BY-LAW                                                            45
                                                6.2 DOG ATTACKS                                                            45
                                                6.2 EXCESSIVE BARKING                                                      46
                                                6.2 DOGS AND COUNCIL PARKS AND RESERVES                                    46
                                                6.3 CAT MANAGEMENT                                                         47
                                                6.4 STAFFING THE ANIMAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE                                 47
                                                6.5 IMPLEMENTING THE PLAN                                                  47




                                            Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023, prepared for the City of Mitcham with
                                            assistance by Harlock Jackson, March 2018.
CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023
2 | Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023




EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Around 63% of Australian households own a pet – 39% own a dog whilst
29% of households own a cat. These figures are significant and reflect the sustained
popularity of pet ownership in Australia.
Mitcham Council’s Dog and Cat                  The off leash areas available for              A perennial issue in animal management
Management Plan 2018-2023 provides             exercising dogs in the City of Mitcham         is dogs being leashed where required
a framework for Council’s management           area listed in Appendix 1.                     and under effective control in places
of dogs and cats and in particular for                                                        where they can be exercised off
                                               The Council’s first Dog Park, opened in
improving the animal management                                                               the leash. It was a key theme in
                                               2009, is at CC Hood Reserve Panorama.
services provided. It reflects our review of                                                  the community feedback. The Plan
Mitcham Council’s animal management            Section 4.5 summarises the background          recommends consideration of the
services, community feedback and a             to the establishment of a second dog           following initiatives:
review of the strategic planning context.      park in the hills area of Mitcham Council.
                                                                                              +   A video on the responsibilities of
                                               This work was done during the life of
Council has performed well on all the                                                             dog owners using public spaces with
                                               the last Plan and included two studies
Key Action Areas contained in the last                                                            their dog.
                                               conducted by Balancing Act Adelaide in
Dog and Cat Management Plan for 2012-
                                               October 2016 and February 2017 and a           +   Written material featuring a range
2017. It also performs well against the
                                               Council resolution on 13 December 2016             of typical interactions or issues to
animal management measures collated
                                               that a dog park be established in the hills        do with the presence of dogs in
by the Dog and Cat Management Board
                                               area of Mitcham.                                   Council’s reserves. These “vignettes”
(compared to other Councils) and on
                                                                                                  could be disseminated separately or
statewide averages. There were no              Of the four parks/reserves in the hills
                                                                                                  together via passive social marketing
stand out issues that were considered to       area that the second Balancing Act
                                                                                                  (eg Council’s website) and active
warrant urgent attention.                      Adelaide study concluded were suitable
                                                                                                  social marketing (eg social media,
                                               for an enclosed dog park, Hannaford Park
New statewide animal management                                                                   newspapers).
                                               is considered to be the most suitable.
requirements will be introduced from
                                               However it is not without issues and           Fortunately, most barking dog
1st July 2018:
                                               there was both community support for           complaints are resolved fairly easily.
+   A new online portal to be known            and opposition to it having a dog park.        However, some drag out for months,
    as Dogs and Cats Online (DACO) will                                                       are not resolved easily and can cause
                                               Based on Council’s final stage consultation
    replace individual council animal                                                         angst for both the complainant and dog
                                               feedback and Petition received in
    registration registers.                                                                   owner. Council will hold a forum inviting
                                               January 2018 Hannaford Park, has been
                                                                                              a range of stakeholders including
+   All dogs and cats over the age of          targeted for further consultation with all
                                                                                              animal behaviourists, which would also
    three months will be required to be        stakeholders in the immediate vicinity
                                                                                              be open to the community to discuss
    microchipped.                              to consider a range of improvements
                                                                                              barking issues.
                                               to Hannaford Park as a dog off leash
+   All new generations of dogs and
                                               area including new and/or upgraded             The remainder of the Plan involves
    cats will be required to be desexed.
                                               infrastructure, design and siting              ongoing monitoring, review and
    Owners will not be required to desex
                                               considerations, improvements for dog           improvement where possible of Council’s
    dogs and cats born before this date.
                                               owners exercising their dogs at the park.      procedures and education material in
These are significant changes which                                                           conjunction with careful monitoring of
                                               If a dog off leash area is established this
will be an early focus of the Plan. New                                                       our key performance indicators.
                                               would be implemented by a resolution
procedures and community education
                                               of Council under the Council’s By-law 5,
will be required.
                                               Section 8 Dog Exercise Areas.
A cat confinement requirement will be
                                               The Plan includes consideration of
considered as part of the 2023 Cat By-law
                                               whether it is possible to achieve
review. This follows community feedback
                                               additional off-leash spaces in
supporting either a cat curfew or a
                                               Council’s reserves and that supporting
24-hour cat confinement requirement.
                                               infrastructure in all of Mitcham’s off
The review would consider scientific
                                               leash areas be upgraded to include the
evidence, resourcing implications and
                                               provision of dog play equipment, dog
further targeted consultation with the
                                               poo bags, bag dispensers, waste bins and
community.
                                               increased frequency of waste disposal.
                                               This is because this was the most
                                               frequent response in the Balancing Act
                                               Adelaide survey regarding improvements
                                               to parks and reserves. This might include
                                               an enlargement of the existing dog park
                                               at CC Hood Reserve. The list of off leash
                                               parks that could be enhanced over the
                                               life of this Plan is provided in Appendix 1.
CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 3




    1 SUMMARY OF
      KEY RECOMMENDATIONS
    The following is a summary of the key recommendations. More detailed information is
    contained within the plan:
    + Existing requirements, procedures and databases will be reviewed and updated to accommodate
      the forthcoming statewide changes to the Dog and Cat Management Act and the introduction
      of DACO;
    + A comprehensive education program will be developed and implemented that covers the suite of
      local and statewide requirements applying to dogs and cats;
    + Further targeted consultation to occur in the immediate vicinity of Hannaford Park (Reserve) with
      all stakeholders to consider a range of improvements to Hannaford Park as an enhanced dog off
      leash area including new and/or upgraded infrastructure, design and siting considerations, and
      improvements for dog owners exercising their dogs at the park. If an enhanced dog off leash area
      is established this would be implemented by a resolution of Council under the Council’s By-law 5,
      Section 8 Dog Exercise Areas;
    + List of off-leash parks that could be considered for enhancement over the life of the Plan
      (see appendix 1);
    + A cat confinement requirement will be considered during the life of the Plan;
    + Additional education initiatives will be undertaken in relation to the presence of dogs in public
      places (streets, footpaths, parks and reserves); and
    + A dog barking forum will be held with residents and identified stakeholders.
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2 INTRODUCTION
Around 63% of Australian households own a pet - 39% own a dog whilst 29%
of households own a cat. These figures are significant and reflect the sustained
popularity of pet ownership in Australia. Pets can be wonderful companions. There is
also mounting evidence that pets provide significant psychological and physiological
benefits including improvements to cardiovascular health, fewer visits to the doctor, a
buffering against grief at times of bereavement, a lowering of stress and delaying of
the ageing process.
In South Australia, the Dog and Cat          This is the City of Mitcham’s Dog and Cat    Section 5 provides a summary of the
Management Act 1995 (the Act) provides       Management Plan for 2018-2023.               community feedback and investigations
for the management of dogs and cats in                                                    undertaken in relation to the Plan
                                             It includes strategies to manage dogs
the community. Its objectives are to:                                                     (including consideration of petition
                                             and cats and sets out how Council’s
                                                                                          received).
+   Encourage responsible dog and cat        responsibilities under the Act will be
    ownership;                               addressed.                                   Section 6 provides the objectives,
                                                                                          strategies and key performance
+   Reduce public and environmental          Section 1 provides a summary of the key
                                                                                          measures that make up our Dog and Cat
    nuisance caused by dogs and cats;        recommendations contained in the Plan.
                                                                                          Management Plan.
    and
                                             Section 3 describes the steps we have
                                                                                          Appendix 1 contains a list of the parks
+   Promote the effective management         taken in preparing this Plan.
                                                                                          and public reserves where dogs may be
    of dogs and cats (including through
                                             Section 4 describes the background and       exercised off-leash, those where they are
    the encouragement of the desexing
                                             context to the Plan. It includes:            required to be under effective control by
    of dogs and cats).
                                                                                          means of physical restraint and the parks
                                             +   A profile of the special attributes of
The City of Mitcham is responsible                                                        and public reserves in which dogs are
                                                 the Mitcham Council area;
for implementation of most of the                                                         prohibited from entering.
requirements in the Act within the           +   A description of the legislation,
                                                                                          Appendix 2 reports on the feedback
Mitcham Council area.                            Council’s animal management By-
                                                                                          received from the community in relation
                                                 laws and Council’s existing animal
The Act requires all Councils to produce                                                  to the Plan.
                                                 management service;
a Plan of Management relating to dogs
                                                                                          Appendix 3 provides Council’s key animal
and cats within their local area. They are   +   The background to the establishment
                                                                                          management statistics.
called Animal Management Plans and/or            of a dog park in the Mitcham hills;
Dog and Cat Management Plans and are             and
produced every five years.
                                             +   The stakeholders and partners who
                                                 have or might have a role to play in
                                                 improving the animal management
                                                 service and outcomes.
CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 5




                                                    THERE IS ALSO
                                             MOUNTING EVIDENCE
                                               THAT PETS PROVIDE
                                                     SIGNIFICANT
                                                  PSYCHOLOGICAL
                                             AND PHYSIOLOGICAL
                                              BENEFITS INCLUDING
                                               IMPROVEMENTS TO
                                                CARDIOVASCULAR
                                            HEALTH, FEWER VISITS
                                                TO THE DOCTOR, A
                                              BUFFERING AGAINST
                                                GRIEF AT TIMES OF
                                                 BEREAVEMENT, A
                                             LOWERING OF STRESS
                                            AND DELAYING OF THE
                                                 AGEING PROCESS.
CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023
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3 HOW DID WE PREPARE
  THE PLAN?
The steps we took in preparing the Plan are summarised below.

THE STEPS WE TOOK IN PREPARING THE PLAN

Community and                An understanding of the community and geographic profiles will ensure the Plan reflects
geographic profiles          the special attributes of the Mitcham Council area. This is described in Section 4.1.


The planning context         The Strategic Management Plan 2017-2022 was reviewed for its implications for the
                             Council’s animal management service. This is described in Section 4.2.

Legislation                  The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 is the foundation for Council’s animal
                             management service. Developing this Plan is an opportunity to review our animal
                             management service to improve the outcomes achieved. In addition, there are recent
                             amendments to the Act that will need to be implemented by the Council. The legislation
                             and forthcoming amendments are described in Section 4.3.

By-laws                      The Council has two animal management by-laws – one in relation to dogs and one in
                             relation to cats. They expire in January 2023. In preparing this Plan, we considered the
                             requirements contained in these by-laws ahead of a formal review in 2022. The animal
                             by-laws are described in Section 4.3.

Existing service             Preparing the Plan is an opportunity to reflect on the existing animal management
                             service provided by the Council and consider possible improvements. The existing animal
                             management service is described in Section 4.4.

Second dog park and          The reviews, studies and Council reports relating to dog off leash areas and a second dog
off leash but under          park in Mitcham were considered in the final recommendations contained in this Plan.
effective control areas      The discussion and recommendations are contained in Sections 4.5 and 5.5.


Partnerships                 In preparing the Plan, we considered ways to partner with others to improve outcomes
                             and achieve a better use of resources. The list of possible stakeholders and partners is
                             included in Section 4.6.

Records and data             The Council’s animal management data was reviewed to identify trends, issues and
                             possible priorities. This is described in Section 5.1.

Outcomes of the              The outcomes of the last Dog and Cat Management Plan were reviewed and are
2012-2017 Plan               summarised in Section 5.2.


Community feedback           Community feedback has been incorporated into the Plan where possible and
                             appropriate. The community engagement process and feedback received is explained in
                             Section 5.3.

Staff feedback               Council staff were able to provide valuable input on trends, issues and possible priorities
                             and initiatives. This is outlined in Section 5.4.

Research and best practice   We reviewed the latest research on the key issues.


Other states and councils    We looked at what other states and councils are doing in animal management.


Funding                      Any new initiatives will need to be resourced along with the resourcing of existing
                             services and facilities. Existing funding arrangements were considered.
CITY OF MITCHAM DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT PLAN 2018-2023
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 7




                                              A CAT CONFINEMENT
                                            REQUIREMENT WILL BE
                                             CONSIDERED AS PART
                                                 OF THE 2023 CAT
                                                 BY-LAW REVIEW.
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4 BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
  TO THE PLAN
This section describes the background and context to the Dog and Cat Management
Plan including:
+   The community and geographic            +   The Dog and Cat Management Act         +   Identification of relevant external
    profiles of the City of Mitcham that        and Council’s animal management            stakeholders and partners.
    might have a bearing on the Dog and         by-laws;
    Cat Management Plan;
                                            +   Council’s existing animal
+   Mitcham’s Strategic Management              management service;
    Plan 2017-2022 Mitcham which
                                            +   Background to the establishment of a
    provides a background and context to
                                                Second Dog Park; and
    preparation of the Plan.




4.1 MITCHAM PROFILE
The City of Mitcham covers 30 suburbs,      In 2016, the majority of residents lived   The City of Mitcham boasts a range of
an area of 75 square kilometres and         in separate houses. 20.6% of dwellings     unique natural habitats, trees and native
stretches from Cross Road in the north,     were in the form of medium or high         vegetation that form part of a significant
Sturt River in the south, from Mount        density housing compared with 26% for      green corridor across the western
Barker Road in the east to South Road in    greater Adelaide.                          slopes of the Mount Lofty Ranges. The
the west. In 2016, the total population                                                hills contain one of the large remnant
                                            Council has a higher proportion of
was 66,372, an increase of 473 on the                                                  stands of endangered Grey Box Grassy
                                            persons at post retirement age than
previous five years. Approximately one                                                 woodland in South Australia and are the
                                            greater Adelaide.
third of the population live in the hills                                              home of many threatened native plants
area whilst two thirds live on the plains   The majority of residents (84%) speak      and animals.
area of the Council.                        English at home. Of the other languages
                                            spoken at home, the most common
                                            languages are Greek, Mandarin and
                                            Italian.
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 9




    4.2 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PLAN 2017-2022
    The City of Mitcham Strategic                     the Council’s key areas of focus for the          for the Council’s animal management
    Management Plan 2017-2027 has                     coming years. Its objectives are set out          service.
    particular relevance because it outlines          below along with their implications


                                                                                                 IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ANIMAL
    OBJECTIVE                               RELEVANT STRATEGIES                                  MANAGEMENT PLAN

                  1 Accessible              Strategy 1.2 Access to a diverse range of            Recognise the health benefits of pet
                    and                     information, services, activities and facilities.    ownership.
                    Connected               Strategy 1.3 Access to high quality, vibrant,        Recognise the role of dog walking in the
                    Community               well serviced places and spaces to meet,             promotion of active lifestyles.
                                            learn and recreate.
                                                                                                 Recognition of the role dog walking plays
                                            Strategy 1.4 Our community is strong,                in creating opportunities to build social
                                            healthy, resilient and is supported in               connections with others.
                                            building connections amongst people,
                                            pursuing pathways to lifelong learning and
                                            personal growth.
                                            Strategy 1.6 Our community is actively
                                            encouraged and supported to have a voice
                                            and to participate in a meaningful way in
                                            shaping our City.

                  2 Sustainable             Strategy 2.1 Our biodiversity within                 Consider the impacts of dogs and cats on
                    City                    open spaces, waterways, reserves and                 biodiversity.
                                            streetscapes is protected and enhanced.
                                                                                                 Assist pet owners in planning for and
                                            Strategy 2.4 Our community is resilient to           recovering from emergencies and natural
                                            climate change and the impacts of natural            disasters.
                                            disasters.

                  3 Dynamic                 Strategy 3.1 We have attractive and vibrant          Consider partnerships with others to improve
                    and                     precincts, places and spaces, supported by           animal management outcomes and achieve
                    Prosperous              a variety of quality community facilities            a better use of resources. This could include
                                            and retail, commercial and residential               neighbouring Councils, external stakeholder
                    Economy                 development.                                         groups, the State Government, volunteers
                                                                                                 and the private sector.
                                            Strategy 3.3 We work collaboratively with
                                            neighbouring Councils, State Government
                                            and private sector partnerships.
                                            Strategy 3.4 We are a destination well
                                            regarded by residents and visitors for our
                                            heritage, natural environment, events,
                                            educational and medical facilities.

                  4 Vibrant and             Strategy 4.1 We have special places, spaces          The dog park and other reserves that
                    Rich Culture            and stories that create a strong sense               permit off leash exercise provide a positive
                                            of place and great experiences for our               experience for dog owners.
                                            community.


    Community feedback received in relation           of digital communication and digital                  management and related outcomes;
    to the Strategic Management Plan                  services. This suggests the following                 and
    suggested that Council should continue            potential implications for the Plan:
                                                                                                        +   Potential augmentation of digital
    to provide services for older people,
                                                      +   Recognition of the health and                     communications with pet owners.
    support volunteers, create greater
                                                          companionship benefits of pet
    opportunities for volunteering, engage
                                                          ownership for all members of the
    with young people and families and
                                                          community including the elderly;
    recognise the value of multiculturalism
    and diversity. There was also some                +   Council could consider using
    suggestion that Council increase its use              volunteers to improve animal
10 | Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023




4.3 LEGISLATION AND BY-LAWS
DOG AND CAT MANAGEMENT                        the age of six months. Owners will not        The Board will fully fund DACO through
ACT 1995                                      be required to desex dogs and cats born       an increase in the percentage of the dog
                                              before the prescribed date. Exemptions        registration fees remitted to the Board.
The Act provides the foundation for           will apply and be possible. This will help
the Council’s animal management                                                             Council will need to review its
                                              to reduce the large number of unowned
service. Key features of the Council’s                                                      systems and processes to capture
                                              and unwanted cats in the community.
responsibilities under the Act are that:                                                    the new information. The existing
                                              Sale of dogs and cats                         database may not have the necessary
+   Dogs must be registered and                                                             functionality. There will also be an
    identified.                               Sellers of dogs and cats are to give the      opportunity to integrate other databases
                                              new owner a written notice setting out        (microchipping, dog incidents, breeder
+   Dogs are not allowed to wander at         the identity of the seller, the identity of
    large, attack a person or an owned                                                      registration).
                                              the breeder, details of vaccinations and
    animal, cause a nuisance or defecate      other treatments, information relating        The new microchipping requirements
    in a public place unless the owner        to the microchip, desexing and other          will require cat owners to upload their
    immediately removes the faeces            relevant medical information and in the       details into DACO. DACO would then
    and disposes of them in a lawful and      case of a dog subject to control orders,      become a tool Council could use to
    suitable manner. Dogs are required        details of the order.                         manage cats (in conjunction with the
    to be leashed on public roads and in                                                    local database of cat registrations).
    public places (unless sign posted by      Dog and Cat breeders
    Council to the contrary).
                                              Anyone who breeds a dog or cat for sale       BY-LAWS
+   Councils have the power to make           will be required to register as a breeder.    Mitcham Council has two by-laws
    a range of orders in relation to the                                                    relating to dogs and cats.
    keeping of dogs.                          Assistance dogs
                                                                                            The Dogs By-law 2015 (By-law No 5 of
+   Councils have the power to seize and      The term Assistance Dog has replaced
                                                                                            the City of Mitcham):
    detain dogs.                              the terms Disability Dog, Guide Dog and
                                              Hearing Dog. The change has provided          +   Provides a permit requirement for
+   There are specific requirements in        Assistance Dogs with a wide range of              premises wishing to keep more than
    relation to the detention/removal         public access rights and there have been          one dog in a small dwelling and
    of cats from remote or fragile areas      changes to who can accredit animals.              more than two dogs in premises
    and in relation to unidentified cats in                                                     other than a small dwelling (with
    other areas. Cats are not required to     Council officers                                  exemptions).
    be registered. This remains a council-    The current terms of a Dog Management
    by-council decision.                                                                    +   Provides for dog exercise areas, dog
                                              Officer and Cat Management Officer has
                                                                                                on leash areas and dog prohibited
                                              been replaced with Authorised Person.
LEGISLATIVE CHANGES                           Under the new provisions, Authorised
                                                                                                areas. The parks and reserves in each
                                                                                                category are listed in Appendix 1.
The South Australian Government has           Persons have been granted additional
made changes to the Act, some of              powers to improve their ability to            +   Requires people to carry a receptacle
which have already been implemented           enforce the Act.                                  suitable for removing their dog’s
and others which are expected to be                                                             faeces from public spaces.
introduced in 2018. These are discussed       CHANGES TO REGISTRATION -
                                                                                            The Cats By-law 2015 (By-law No 6 of the
below. Most of the changes will need to       DOG AND CATS ONLINE (DACO)                    City of Mitcham):
be managed and enforced by the Council.       At present, all dogs are required to be
                                                                                            +   Requires all cats to be registered and
Microchipping                                 registered with the respective local
                                                                                                microchipped.
                                              Council.
All dogs and cats over the age of                                                           +   Provides a permit requirement for
three months will be required to be           From 1 July 2018, a new statewide online
                                                                                                households wishing to keep more
microchipped. The new provisions will         portal will replace individual council
                                                                                                than two cats and ensuring all cats
commence on 1 July 2018. The new              registers. Dog owners will pay registration
                                                                                                are kept without causing a nuisance.
statewide requirement will override the       fees online. The new system, to be known
need for the local by-law requirement         as Dogs and Cats Online (DACO) will           Both by-laws expire in January 2023.
for cats to be microchipped. However          send owners renewal notices, and their
                                                                                            The by-law requiring cats to be
given the by-law provisions are not in        registration discs.
                                                                                            microchipped will be superseded by
conflict with the statewide legislative       DACO information will be available 24/7       the forthcoming statewide requirement
changes being introduced Council‘s            to Council officers and other Authorised      that will commence on 1 July 2018. It
by-law does not need to be changed            Persons. The statewide registers will         would be appropriate to remove the
until their next review in 2023.              enable Council officers to identify the       michrochipping requirement from the by-
The requirement to microchip will             homes of dogs from other council areas.       law at the next by-law review in 2023.
be enforced as part of the annual             The Board expects an increase in the          If a local requirement to confine cats
registration process.                         number of people registering their dog        were to be introduced, this would
Desexing of dogs and cats                     each year (which could increase council       happen by way of an amendment to the
                                              revenue). It also expects animals to be       existing Cats By-law (or included in the
Dog and cat owners will be required to        returned to their owners more quickly         new by-law enacted after 2023).
desex all new generations of dogs and         than is possible now.
cats born after the 1 July 2018 and by
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 11




    4.4 COUNCIL’S EXISTING ANIMAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
                                                                                              Dogs in public places
                                                                                              The Act requires dogs to be leashed on
                                                                                              public streets, nature strips, footpaths,
                                                                                              parking areas and shopping centres.
                                                                                              Council’s Dogs By-law provides for
                                                                                              declared areas where dogs are allowed
                                                                                              to be exercised on and off the leash and
                                                                                              areas where they are prohibited from
                                                                                              entering. They are listed in Appendix 1.
                                                                                              They include some time-share areas, and
                                                                                              generic requirements applying to fenced
                                                                                              playgrounds (dogs prohibited) and
                                                                                              unfenced playgrounds (dogs required
                                                                                              to be on the leash within 10 metres of
                                                                                              the play space). There is also a 20 metres
                                                                                              rule for Mortlock Park which means
                                                Key measures to reduce the incidence of       dogs are required to be on leash at all
    EXISTING ANIMAL                             dog attacks include early socialisation       times within 20 metres of the BMX track,
    MANAGEMENT SERVICE                          and obedience training, confinement           playground equipment and of organised
                                                                                              sport or school activities (when they are
    Registration                                to prevent dogs from wandering and
                                                                                              underway).
                                                effective control of dogs in public places.
    In the City of Mitcham, dogs and cats are                                                 Dogs must be kept under effective
    required to be registered. From 1 July      Education, especially of children, in
                                                how to behave around dogs can reduce          control in all other public places.
    2018, registration will be managed by
    the new statewide DACO.                     the risk.                                     Council has a dedicated Dog Park at
                                                Research by the Board shows that              CC Hood Reserve, Panorama. It is fully
    Whilst the Board will manage dog                                                          enclosed by a 1.5m fence to allow dogs
    registrations under the DACO system,        undesexed dogs are 7 to 10 times more
                                                likely to attack than desexed dogs.           to be exercised freely off the leash in a
    Council will still have a role to play in                                                 safe environment under effective control.
    following up those that fail to register/   The forthcoming mandatory desexing
                                                requirement will help to reduce the risk.     The park includes shelters, bench seating,
    reregister their dog.                                                                     water dispensers, poo bag dispensers,
    Staffing                                    Community Safety Officers continue to         waste bins and play equipment for dogs
                                                review their processes for dealing with       including rails, posts and pipes.
    Council has two (FTE) Dog Management        dog attacks.
    Officers and one (0.6 FTE) Cat                                                            Owners of dogs or the person
    Management Officer. One or more             Dog barking                                   responsible for the dog are required to
    Community Safety Officers are on duty                                                     remove any dog faeces left by their dog
                                                Excessive barking is a problem that
    seven days a week and on-call officers                                                    in a public place. Failure to do so is an
                                                consumes a considerable amount of
    are available to handle emergency calls.                                                  offence under the Act.
                                                Council resources. Ninety per cent of
    Lost and unowned pets                       dog complaints are resolved within 14         Council’s by-law also makes it an offence
                                                days but the remaining 10% can become         to take a dog into a public place if
    In 2016/2017 76 dogs were impounded.        intractable and particularly difficult to     the person in control of the dog is not
    This is an increase from 66 dogs in         resolve.                                      carrying a dog bag or similar to remove
    the previous year. Overall Council                                                        the dog’s droppings.
    had a 92.2% return rate to owners in        A Standard Operating Procedure exists for
    2016/2017.                                  dog barking to ensure that it reflects best   Council supplies dog bag dispensers
                                                practice and consistency of approach by       across the Council area.
    Dogs that cannot be re-united with their    the team.
    owner are handed to the RSPCA which is                                                    Issues in relation to dogs in public places
    required to hold them for 72 hours before   Community Safety Officers continue to         include that:
    making them available for re-homing.        review their processes for dealing with
                                                                                              +   Dogs are retained under effective
                                                dog barking problems.
    Council has nominated the RSPCA as                                                            voice control in off leash areas;
    the location as to where cats can be        Education in responsible pet                  +   Dogs are kept on the leash in on
    contained.                                  ownership                                         leash areas;
                                                The Community Safety Team has a range
    DOG ATTACKS                                 of brochures and Council’s website
                                                                                              +   Dogs are not taken to areas where
                                                                                                  dogs are prohibited; and
    Council received 46 reported dog attacks    provides information to dog owners on a
    in 2016/2017 and 49 the previous year.      range of relevant topics.                     +   Dog faeces are removed from public
                                                                                                  places and dog owners carry a
    A Standard Operating Procedure exists for   The Board supports a primary school               receptacle with them to pick up their
    dealing with dog attacks to ensure the      education program aimed at 6-10 year              dog’s droppings.
    necessary steps are taken to investigate    olds. A primary focus of these programs
    and respond to such incidents.              is to reduce the incidence dog attacks on
                                                children.
12 | Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023




4.4 COUNCIL’S EXISTING ANIMAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
    CONTINUED
REGISTRATIONS                                  FUNDING                                      Cat Management Board. This will rise
                                                                                            to 24% with the commencement of the
In 2016/2017, Council had 9,748                All monies received from registrations,      statewide registration portal (DACO). (No
registered dogs. This is almost the same       expiations and fines are spent on dog        funds are paid from cat registrations.)
as the previous year.                          and cat management. The delivery of
                                               services provided by Council’s animal        Monies are available from this fund
CAT CONTROL AND                                management services are subsidised by        to Councils for specific projects and
MANAGEMENT                                     the community.                               initiatives.
Council’s Cats By-law (By-law No               It is envisaged that the actions contained   EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
6) requires cats over the age of               in the Dog and Cat Management Plan
three months to be registered and              2018-23 are able to be funded from           The hills area of the City of Mitcham is
microchipped. In addition, only two            within the existing animal management        located in a designated Higher Fire Risk
cats may be kept at an address without         budget with the exceptions being:            Area. Some Council services in these parts
Council approval unless conditions                                                          of the Council area are restricted during
                                               +   The development of the dedicated         periods of Catastrophic and Extreme Fire
outlined in the By-law are met.
                                                   dog park in the hills; and;              Danger Warning. This includes routine
The Act provides for the detention/                                                         animal management matters.
                                               +   The enhancement of existing off
removal of cats from remote or fragile
                                                   leash areas (depending on level on       Council’s website provides information
areas and in relation to unidentified cats
                                                   enhancement).                            on planning for pets in emergencies.
in other areas.
                                               Those key performance measures
Council has cat traps available for hire for
                                               outside the animal management budget
residents to manage cats trespassing on
                                               would be delivered through separate
their property.
                                               deliberations of Council through the
At this time, Council does not provide         budget bid process.
facility to detain cats. Residents are
                                               Council pays 20% of funds received
advised to take unowned cats to the
                                               from dog registrations to the Dog and
RSPCA shelter at Lonsdale.




4.5 SECOND DOG PARK
The off leash areas available for              areas in general than on establishing        following Hills area parks/reserves:
exercising dogs in the City of Mitcham are     a second dog park. It found that the
                                                                                            +   Hawthorndene Oval;
listed in Appendix 1.                          provision of safe off leash parks within
                                               walking distance of home and with            +   Hannaford Park;
In 2009, the City of Mitcham opened
                                               supporting infrastructure would be of
its first dedicated enclosed dog park at                                                    +   Blackwood Hill Oval;
                                               more benefit to residents than a second
CC Hood Reserve, Panorama. An enclosed
                                               dog park. The primary reason for this is     +   Sherwood Road Reserve;
dog park is a type of off leash area which
                                               that convenience was the major factor in
has been specifically set aside for dogs                                                    +   Donnybrook Road Reserve;
                                               determining which parks Mitcham’s dog
and their owners and is fully enclosed
                                               owners visit.                                +   Bailey Reserve;
or fenced.
                                               On 13 December 2016, Council                 +   Blackwood Hill Oval;
The last Dog and Cat Management
                                               considered the Balancing Act Adelaide
Plan 2012-2017 foreshadowed the                                                             +   Suffolk Reserve;
                                               (October 2016) report and resolved
development of a second dog park
                                               that a second dog park in the hills area     +   Ossie Goldsworthy Reserve or
during the life of the plan. To this end,
                                               of the City of Mitcham be identified             Johnson Parade Reserve; and
Balancing Act Adelaide was commissioned
                                               and included in the next Dog and Cat
in 2016 to determine the need for                                                           +   Archibald Park.
                                               Management Plan 2018-2023. Council
additional dog off-leash areas in
                                               also endorsed the provision of additional    The report concluded that whilst none
Mitcham, including a second designated
                                               community education and dog off-leash        of the parks/reserves were without
enclosed dog park. Their investigations
                                               areas with supporting infrastructure and     issues, four were more suitable for
included a survey of residents which
                                               that their location and development be       further investigation by Council. These
resulted in 378 completed surveys.
                                               identified and included in the next Dog      are the ones bolded above. The report
The Balancing Act Adelaide (October            and Cat Management Plan (subject to          also concluded that some of the reserves
2016) report supports the provision of         budget bids).                                could be enhanced over time to become
additional off-leash areas in Mitcham                                                       safe, informal off leash exercise areas
                                               This led to a further assessment by
and the extension of existing off                                                           with supporting infrastructure.
                                               Balancing Act Adelaide (February 2017)
leash times. It further recommended
                                               of nine parks/reserves within the hills      This Plan’s recommendations in relation
that greater attention be placed on
                                               area for their suitability as an enclosed    to a second dog park are contained in
augmenting and improving off-leash
                                               dog park. Their report considered the        Sections 5.5 and 6.2.
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 13




    4.6 STAKEHOLDERS AND PARTNERS
    The organisations with an involvement        NEIGHBOURING COUNCILS                          DOG OBEDIENCE CLUBS AND
    in or interface with animal management
                                                 There is potential to share information
                                                                                                TRAINERS
    are listed below. Building partnerships
    and clarifying the Council’s role can        and resources with neighbouring                Dog obedience clubs help dog owners
    improve outcomes and achieve a more          Councils; whether formally or informally.      to train their dogs. Whilst there are no
    effective use of resources.                                                                 dog obedience clubs within the Mitcham
                                                 ANIMAL WELFARE                                 Council area there are in neighbouring
    THE DOG AND CAT                              ORGANISATIONS                                  districts.
    MANAGEMENT BOARD                             These include (but are not limited to):        There are also private dog training
    The functions of the Dog and Cat             +   The RSPCA South Australia;                 companies that provide private training
    Management Board are to:                                                                    and group classes.
                                                 +   The Animal Welfare League of South
    +   Plan for, promote and provide advice         Australia;                                 EMERGENCY SERVICES
        about, the effective management of
                                                 +   Lost Dogs of Adelaide;
                                                                                                ORGANISATIONS
        dogs and cats;
                                                                                                Organisations such as the Metropolitan
    +   Oversee the administration and           +   Lost Pets of South Australia;
                                                                                                Fire Service (MFS), Country Fire Serve
        enforcement of the provisions of         +   Cats Assistance to Sterilise (C.A.T.S.);   (CFS) and the State Emergency Service
        [the] Act relating to dogs;                  and                                        (SES) attend fires and provide help
    +   Inquire into and consider all                                                           during declared and other emergencies
                                                 +   The National Desexing Network.
        proposed by-laws referred to it under                                                   and bushfire incidents. Pet owners in fire
        [the] Act, with a view to promoting      Animals that are unowned or cannot be          risk areas have a number of challenges
        the effective management of dogs         reunited with their owner are handed           that should be included in their bush fire
        and cats, and, to the extent that the    to the RSPCA or Animal Welfare League          response plans.
        Board considers it appropriate, the      for rehoming after the statutory holding
        consistent application of by-laws        period has expired.                            COMMUNITY GROUPS AND
        throughout South Australia;                                                             VOLUNTEERS
                                                 LOCAL GOVERNMENT
                                                                                                There are a number of community groups
    +   Advise the Minister or the LGA,          ASSOCIATION                                    that can have an interest in and interface
        either on its own initiative or at
        the request of the Minister or the       The Local Government Association               with Council’s management of dogs and
        LGA, on the operation of [the] Act or    provides services, support and leadership      cats. Volunteers can also help to improve
        issues directly relating to dog or cat   to South Australian Councils.                  animal management outcomes.
        management in South Australia;           It has introduced the My Local Services        PET OWNERS
    +   Undertake or facilitate research         App which can provide a range of Council
                                                 information including Council facilities,      Pet owners have a number of obligations
        relating to dog or cat management;
                                                 events, and procedures.                        in relation to their pets. These include
    +   Undertake or facilitate educational                                                     caring for the pets’ health and
        programs relating to dog or cat          LOCAL GOVERNMENT                               wellbeing and compliance with relevant
        management;                              AUTHORISED PERSONS                             legislation.
    +   Keep [the] Act under review and          ASSOCIATION (APA)
        make recommendations to the              The APA facilitates professional
        Minister with respect to the Act and     development of members and seeks
        regulations made under the Act; and      to facilitate sharing of information
    +   Carry out any other function assigned    and resources and standardised work
        to the Board by the Minister or by or    practices amongst Councils.
        under [the] Act.
                                                 MICROCHIP IMPLANTERS AND
    A proportion of the funds collected from     VETERINARIANS
    the Council’s animal registrations are
    paid to the Board.                           Approved microchip implanters
                                                 (including veterinarians) will be required
    The Board audits the Council’s animal        to upload the details of the animals they
    management service.                          microchip on to DACO. Veterinarians will
                                                 also be required to upload the details of
    From 2018 the Board will be responsible
                                                 the animals they desex.
    for the new DACO registration system.
                                                 Veterinarians are usually an early point
                                                 of contact for owners of puppies and
                                                 kittens and could assist with making the
                                                 Council’s education material available.
                                                 Some veterinary clinics run puppy pre-
                                                 school classes which provide owners of
                                                 puppies with information on raising dogs
                                                 and early socialisation classes.
14 | Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023




5 INVESTIGATIONS AND
  COMMUNITY FEEDBACK
5.1 STATISTICS
Appendix 3 provides the full compilation of Council’s animal management statistics for the last three years. The following is a
summary. Mitcham performs well on most measures against statewide averages.


                                                                                                2014            2015               2016
STATISTICS                                                                                     /2015           /2016              /2017
Total dog registrations                                                                           9663              9720              9718

Total number of expiations issued                                                                   458              360                382

Number of court cases won                                                                             1                 0                  0

Total court actions for the year                                                                      1                 0                  0

Number of official barking dog complaints received                                                   47                37                33

Number of official wandering dog complaints received                                                202              189                193

Number of dogs collected and returned to owner before impounded                                     112              123                117

Total number of dogs impounded                                                                       92                66                76

Total number of dogs impounded and subsequently returned to the owner                                82                55                61

Number of reports of dog harassment to humans                                                         4                 9                13

Number of reports of dog attacks on humans                                                           13                14                14

Number of reports of dog harassment to animals                                                        1                 1                  0

Number of reports of dog attacks on animals                                                          24                23                19

Number of Dog Management Officers (FTE)                                                               2                 2                  2

Number of cat complaints                                                                             54              232                132

Number of cats registered                                                                         2451              2495              2573

Number of Cat Management Officer(s) (FTE)                                                           0.6               0.6                0.6
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 15




    5.2 OUTCOMES OF THE 2012-2017 PLAN
    The 2012-2017 Plan had nine key result            achieved of both a 5% decrease in the             targets for decreasing the number
    areas, a summary of the key performance           number of dog attacks causing injury,             of dogs and entering shelters, and
    indicator achievements of each is                 and a 5% decrease in the number of                increasing the number of returned/
    provided below.                                   wandering dogs at large.                          re-homed dogs and cats.
    +   Key result area 1: Increasing             +   Key result area 4: Managing dogs              +   Key result area 8: Training animal
        registration and microchipping.               in public places. Council achieved its            management officers. Council
        Both targets for cats and dogs were           target of no increases in the number              completed a skills audit for Council’s
        achieved.                                     of expiations relating to dogs in                 compliance unit staff and produce a
                                                      public places.                                    gap analysis of skills. This has resulted
    +   Key result area 2: Encouraging
                                                                                                        in ongoing animal management
        responsible pet ownership. Council        +   Key result area 5: Managing barking
                                                                                                        officer’s skills training.
        achieved all of its KPIs, which               dogs. Council achieved its target
        included education in all schools             of no increases in the number of              +   Key result area 9: Implementing the
        in Mitcham, developing and                    barking dog complaints.                           plan. Following obtaining approval
        implementing a code of conduct in                                                               from the Dog and Cat Management
                                                  +   Key result area 6: Managing cats.
        relation to dogs in public spaces,                                                              Board, Council implemented the
                                                      Targets for increased numbers of cat
        investigating using technology for                                                              2012-2017 Animal Management
                                                      registration and returned/re-homed
        education, and reviewing all of                                                                 Plan by assigning responsibility
                                                      cats were achieved. Council achieved
        Council’s education material.                                                                   to a nominated Council officer,
                                                      its targets of no increases in the
                                                                                                        establishing a project team, and
    +   Key result area 3: Protecting the             number of cat complaints.
                                                                                                        establishing a data collection
        community from dog attacks and
                                                  +   Key result area 7: Caring for lost and            framework for monitoring and
        dangerous dogs. Targets were
                                                      unwanted pets. Council achieved its               annual review of the plan.




    5.3 COMMUNITY FEEDBACK
    The community had two opportunities to        APRIL-MAY 2017                                    The survey and a more detailed
    provide input into the draft Plan.                                                              description of the feedback is contained
                                                  A “Have your Say” Community Survey                in Appendix 2. 124 completed surveys
    The first round of community                  was undertaken in April/May 2017. It              were received. The following is a
    engagement occurred in April-May 2017         was promoted by all the touchpoints               summary of the results.
    as the draft was being prepared.              identified in Council’s Engagement
                                                  and Communication Strategy. More                  Respondents were asked to rate a range
    The second round occurred in November-
                                                  than 12,000 SMS messages were sent                of animal management issues as high,
    December 2017 and sought feedback on
                                                  to registered dog and cat owners in               medium or low priority. The number of
    the draft Plan.
                                                  Mitcham.                                          responses to each (out of a maximum
    This section summarises the results and                                                         possible of 124) is reproduced below.
    feedback received.


                                                                                                           SECOND                     LEAST
                                                                                       TOP                 HIGHEST                  HIGHEST
    PRIORITIES                                                                     PRIORITY               PRIORITY                 PRIORITY
    More off leash areas with supporting infrastructure                                        50                     44                      19

    Additional community education                                                             44                     25                      53

    Dog park in the hills                                                                      24                     41                      39


    The strongest themes and issues raised in     +   Excessive barking;                            +   Unremoved dog faeces in reserves
    the qualitative feedback include:                                                                   and footpaths.
                                                  +   Effective control of dogs in off leash
    +   Wandering cats/mandatory cat                  areas;                                        This feedback was considered in the
        confinement required;                                                                       development of the draft Plan.
                                                  +   More off leash / less off leash areas;
                                                      and
16 | Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023




5.3 COMMUNITY FEEDBACK CONTINUED
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2017                       The reasons given including a lack of         +   24% (11 out of 46) do not support cat
                                             consultation with surrounding residents,          confinement at all;
Comment was sought on the draft Plan         impact on residential amenity (traffic/
in November-December 2017. Key                                                             +   72% (33 out of 46) support
                                             parking, noise and visual impact of
stakeholders, MPs, community groups                                                            some form of a cat confinement
                                             fencing and dog infrastructure, safety
and media outlets were contacted and a                                                         requirement;
                                             for children and local dogs, inadequate
SMS message was sent to all registered       drainage, grass damage, declining             +   30% (14 out of 46) support a night
dog and cat owners requesting feedback       property values, impacts on historical            curfew only;
on the draft Plan. An advertisement was      legacy of the park, impacts in native
also placed in the Messenger. Feedback                                                     +   28% (13 out of 46) support a 24-hour
                                             fauna and impacts on sporting activities.
was accepted via Council’s website.                                                            requirement;
                                             Therefore the Plan recommends that
110 responses were received.                                                               +   7% (3 out of 46) support 24-hour
                                             further targeted consultation occur in
                                                                                               confinement only if Council assists
Two major issues were addressed in the       relation to potential improvements/
                                                                                               with the implementation of
submissions:                                 upgrading of Hannaford Park and its
                                                                                               enclosures in yards;
                                             suitability for an enhanced dog off leash
+   Whether Hannaford Park should            area.                                         +   4% of these submissions (2 out of
    be considered as a priority location
                                                                                               46) said that there is not enough
    for a second dog park (35% of            Whilst the response rate received during
                                                                                               information or research available for
    submissions); and                        Council’s own final stage consultation
                                                                                               Council to propose a cat confinement
                                             in Nov/Dec 2018 was supportive of
+   Whether a cat confinement                                                                  requirement.
                                             Hannaford Park being a dedicated dog
    requirement should be considered         park, the response numbers were low.          The Plan recommends that a cat
    part of the 2023 Cat By-law review       If one then considers the additional 193      confinement requirement be considered
    (42% of submissions).                    signatures of the local petition, not in      as part of the 2023 Cat By-law review
In relation to Hannaford Park:               favour, administration believed there         taking into account scientific evidence
                                             is more support for Hannaford Park to         and resourcing implications. Further
+   35% (39 out of 110) explicitly           become an enhanced dog off leash area         community feedback will also be sought
    mentioned Hannaford Park as a dog        than a dog park (this is supportive of the    via targeted community engagement.
    park;                                    findings of Balancing Act Adelaide‘s report
                                                                                           A range of other comments resulted in
+   62% (24 out of 39) were in favour of     of 2016).
                                                                                           minor changes to the draft.
    Hannaford Park as a fenced off leash     In relation to a cat confinement
    dog park;                                requirement:
+   38% (15 out of 39) were not in favour    +   42% of total submissions (46 out
    of Hannaford Park as a dog park.             of 110) explicitly mentioned cat
                                                 confinement;




5.4 STAFF FEEDBACK
Council staff are able to provide valuable   +   Council receives a large number           +   Education: look at a series of small
input on trends, issues and possible             of complaints about cats. Most                initiatives that could be undertaken
priorities and initiatives. The priorities       are about trespass on neighbours’             over the life of the Plan eg:
identified by Council staff include:             properties. It would be appropriate
                                                                                               +   This is what we expect to be a
                                                 to consider a cat confinement
+   Effective control of dogs in public                                                            responsible dog or cat owner
                                                 requirement (whether 24/7 or just at
    places is an ongoing issue;                                                                    (could be a video);
                                                 night). This could occur via a by-law
+   More consideration of the benefits of        or a forthcoming change to the Local          +   An open forum on barking
    pet ownership would be appropriate;          Government Act that picks up the                  with an animal behaviourist in
                                                 order making process in the Local                 attendance.
                                                 Government Act; and
Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023 | 17




    5.5 DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
    OVERVIEW                                            CAT CONFINEMENT                                      EDUCATION IN RESPONSIBLE
    Council has performed well on all the Key           It is considered that there is a case to
                                                                                                             PET OWNERSHIP
    Action Area‘s in the current Dog and Cat            consider introducing a cat confinement               Council undertakes a range of measures
    Management Plan 2012-17 and against                 requirement in Mitcham. Council receives             designed to educate the community
    the animal management measures                      a high number of complaints about cats.              in responsible pet ownership. These
    collated by the Board compared to other             This is mostly about cats wandering on to            activities and material will continue and
    Councils and on the statewide averages.             neighbouring properties. This was also               will be reviewed and improved where
    There appears to be no stand out issues             a key theme in the feedback from the                 this is warranted.
    that are considered to warrant urgent               community.
    attention.                                                                                               For the life of the next Plan, it is
                                                        Confinement of cats to the home                      recommended that Council focus on
    MANDATORY DESEXING                                  property is widely seen as the most                  disseminating the new requirements
                                                        effective means of reducing the risk of              to the community. The reason for
    AND IDENTIFICATION -
                                                        cats preying on wildlife. However it can             this is that there is already confusion
    FORTHCOMING                                         be difficult for owners to confine cats that         in the community about different
    These are significant changes to current            are used to roaming.                                 animal management requirements1
    requirements. They come into operation                                                                   eg what is a statewide versus a local
                                                        At the time of writing, only one Council
    in 2018 and will apply statewide. They                                                                   requirement, what is required compared
                                                        in South Australia (Kangaroo Island) has
    will need to be an early focus of the                                                                    to what is only encouraged, differences
                                                        a 24-hour cat confinement requirement.
    Plan. New procedures and community                                                                       between municipalities and different
                                                        However, night curfews have been
    education will be required.                                                                              requirements applying to dogs compared
                                                        introduced by Flinders Ranges and
                                                                                                             to cats. Even the difference between
    DACO – FORTHCOMING                                  Whyalla Councils whilst in Victoria, four
                                                                                                             registration and microchipping is a
                                                        Councils have 24 hour confinement
    DACO is a centralised Dog and Cat Online                                                                 known cause for confusion as to the new
                                                        requirements and seven Councils have
    data base system for registration of dogs                                                                desexing requirement which will only
                                                        night curfews.
    and cats (if cat registration applies).                                                                  apply to new generations of dogs and
    DACO is to be introduced as of 1 July               The mechanism for doing this could                   cats born after the 1 July 2018.
    2018. The move to state wide online dog             be via an amendment to the existing
                                                                                                             It is considered that a comprehensive
    registration is another significant change          Council by-law.
                                                                                                             and integrated program is required
    to animal management. New systems,                  Council would not decide on a cat                    to educate the community about the
    procedures and community education                  confinement requirement by approval                  existing and new animal management
    will be required and acknowledged in                of this Plan. The recommendation in the              requirements. This dovetails with staff
    the new plan.                                       Plan provides for review of the by-law               feedback that there be a simple “these
                                                        to include the suggested requirement.                are your responsibilities” message
                                                        Further consultation with the community              disseminated to the community.
                                                        would be required as part of this process.
                                                                                                             This could be undertaken with
                                                                                                             neighbouring Councils and other
                                                                                                             stakeholders to share resources and
                                                                                                             disseminate a consistent message
                                                                                                             tailored to local requirements.

    1. CONFUSION ABOUT ANIMAL MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS WAS CONFIRMED IN THE 2014 CAT OWNERS SURVEY UNDERTAKEN BY THE BOARD.
18 | Dog and Cat Management Plan 2018-2023




5.5 DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONTINUED
DOG PARK                                                It was recommended by Balancing                 DOGS ACCESS
Section 4.5 summarises the background
                                                        Act Adelaide that Hannaford Park be             TO PUBLIC PLACES
                                                        considered for enhancement to off leash.
to the establishment of a second dog                    This would improve the opportunities            In line with the feedback received in the
park in the hills area of Mitcham Council.              available in the hills for people to exercise   online survey, Council will consider if it is
This work was done during the life of                   their dogs and is consistent with the           possible to achieve additional off-leash
the last Plan and included two studies                  October 2016 study by Balancing Act             spaces in Council’s reserves.
conducted by Balancing Act Adelaide in                  Adelaide that recommended Council
October 2016 and February 2017 and a                                                                    It is further proposed that the supporting
                                                        focus on improving the availability of          infrastructure in all of Mitcham’s off
Council resolution on 13 December 2016                  off-leash areas generally as opposed to
that a dog park be established in the hills                                                             leash areas be upgraded to include the
                                                        establishing a second dedicated enclosed        provision of dog play equipment, dog
area of Mitcham.                                        dog park in the Mitcham Council area.           poo bags, bag dispensers, waste bins and
Of the four parks/reserves that the                     Results of community consultation               increased frequency of waste disposal.
second Balancing Act Adelaide study                     undertaken in relation to this Plan             This is because this was the most
concluded were suitable for an                          in April/May 2017 found of the 124              frequent response in the Balancing Act
enclosed dog park, Hannaford Park was                   respondents top priority had 50                 Adelaide survey regarding improvements
considered to be the most suitable. This                supporting more off leash areas with            to parks and reserves. This might include
is because it is easy to find, accessible               supporting infrastructure, 44 additional        an enlargement of the existing dog park
from a main road, it is a good size for                 community education and 24 seeking a            at CC Hood Reserve. The list of off leash
a dog park, it is relatively flat and it                second dog park. This further reinforces        parks that could be enhanced over the
has established trees for shade and                     the findings of the October 2016 study.         life of this Plan is provided in Appendix 1.
an existing water supply2. However, it
also has issues that would need to be                   In the November/December 2017                   A perennial issue in animal management
addressed: it has no off-street parking,                consultation, there was greater support         is dogs being leashed where required
it abuts residential properties at close                for Hannaford Park as a second dog park         and under effective control in places
proximity and there would be a likely                   than there was opposition. However,             where they can be exercised off
increase in traffic and car parking in                  a later petition (193 signatories)              the leash. It was a key theme in the
surrounding residential streets if off                  was submitted from neighbouring                 community feedback. It is recommended
street parking was not included.                        residents who oppose a Dog Park at              that new initiatives be considered eg:
                                                        Hannaford Park.                                 +   A video on the responsibilities of
Dog parks generate a significant amount
of activity both in the reserve/park                    Therefore the Plan supports further                 dog owners using public spaces with
and in adjoining streets – more activity                targeted consultation to occur in the               their dog.
than occurs in informal off-leash areas.                immediate vicinity of Hannaford Park            +   Written material featuring a range
They have the potential to affect both                  (Reserve) with all stakeholders to                  of typical interactions or issues to
the reserve and surrounding streets                     consider a range of improvements to                 do with the presence of dogs in
and residences unless these issues are                  Hannaford Park as an enhanced dog                   Council’s reserves. These “vignettes”
addressed.                                              off leash area including new and/or                 could be disseminated separately or
                                                        upgraded infrastructure, design and                 together via passive social marketing
                                                        siting considerations, and improvements             (eg Council’s website) and active
                                                        for dog owners exercising their dogs                social marketing (eg social media,
                                                        at the park. If an enhanced dog off                 newspapers).
                                                        leash area is established this would be
                                                        implemented by a resolution of Council          EXCESSIVE BARKING
                                                        under the Council’s By-law 5, Section 8
                                                        Dog Exercise Areas.                             Fortunately, most barking complaints
                                                                                                        are resolved fairly easily. However, some
                                                                                                        drag out for months, are not resolved
                                                                                                        easily and can cause angst for both the
                                                                                                        complainant and dog owner. Council
                                                                                                        staff say some barking complaints could
                                                                                                        be more easily resolved if a complaint
                                                                                                        was lodged earlier. It is recommended
                                                                                                        Council hold a forum on barking inviting
                                                                                                        a range of stakeholders including animal
                                                                                                        behaviourists and would be open to the
                                                                                                        community to discuss barking issues.

                                                                                                        OTHER MEASURES CONTAINED
                                                                                                        IN THE PLAN
                                                                                                        The remainder of the Plan involves
                                                                                                        ongoing monitoring, review and
                                                                                                        improvement where possible of Council’s
                                                                                                        procedures and education material in
                                                                                                        conjunction with careful monitoring of
2. FROM THE BALANCING ACT ADELAIDE(FEBRUARY 2017) REPORT.                                               our key performance indicators.
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