How many dogs can I keep?

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There are restrictions on the number of dogs you can keep. You must apply for a permit to keep dogs over the allowable limit.

Without a permit you can keep:

  • one dog in a small dwelling
  • two dogs in all other premises.

Find out more about the number of dogs that can be kept on a property.

If you don’t apply for a permit

Under our by-laws you can be issued with an expiation of $185 if you don’t apply for a permit.

Find out more about the City of West Torrens By-law 5 Dogs


Permission to keep more dogs than usually allowed is only given where:

  • there are extenuating circumstances
  • the property is big enough to house extra dogs
  • the dogs are not causing a nuisance.

Circumstances where extra dogs may be permitted

Extenuating circumstances may include the following:

  • the dog owner moves from another council area where a higher number of dogs are permitted for a similar sized property
  • a family member who owns a dog returns to the household due to financial or other reasons
  • the household is formed by partners coming together where each partner is a dog owner
  • a household inherits a dog from an immediate family member who has died or is no longer capable of being able to take care of their dog through illness or physical incapacity.

Applying for an exemption

The process of obtaining a permit is as follows:

If your circumstances appear to be extenuating, a Community Safety Officer will visit your home to carry out an inspection of:

  • the size of the yard
  • available space
  • sleeping areas
  • cleanliness
  • fences/secure yard
  • faeces disposal
  • dog training.

The officer will also speak with neighbours and collect evidence that the dogs on your property are not causing a nuisance to others by barking or menacing behaviour.


You will be notified in writing if your application is approved.

Approval will be for the extra dog or dogs covered by the application only.

When a dog dies or is removed from your premises it cannot be replaced without permission.

If you plan to replace a dog, you need to submit a new application.


Applications may be refused if there have been problems in the past with the dogs such as wandering at large, attacks, or barking complaints.

If an application is refused the application fee is not refunded.

If your application is refused you will be notified by letter of the reasons for the refusal. You will be asked to relocate the extra dogs.

You will also be notified of the time period in which this must occur.