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Animals and pets

Pets bring pleasure and companionship to many. We want pets and people to live together harmoniously, and for your pet to be healthy, well-socialised and safe.

Registering a pet

The Companion Animals Act requires residents to have their dogs and cats microchipped, and pay the lifetime registration fee. Microchipping and registering your pet helps protect your pet if it's lost, hurt or stolen.

For all companion animal microchipping and registration details, including payment options, please refer to the Office of Local Governments website.

Note: Don't forget to change the registration details of your pet if you move house.

 

Microchipping

Local vets and animal welfare organisations may offer discount rates, so shop around for the best price on microchipping. Council also holds special days where you can get your pet chipped.

Desexing your pet

Desexing will help your pet stay healthy and avoid unwanted litters.

Starting from 1 July 2020, cats older than four months and not de-sexed will need an annual permit obtained from Council, Service NSW or online at www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au. This is a new requirement under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

If you have a pensioner, healthcare or new start card, subsidised de-sexing is available. This includes free microchipping and vaccination. For more information about subsidised de-sexing call 0417 223 556.

Desexing costs:
Female cat$50
Male cat$35
Female dog$65
Male dog$50
Is your cat desexed?

If your cat is four months or older, it is a good idea to get them de-sexed. Desexing will help your pet stay healthy and avoid unwanted litters.

Starting from 1 July 2020, cats older than four months and not de-sexed will need an annual permit obtained from Council, Service NSW or online at www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au

This is a new requirement under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

If you have a pensioner or healthcare card, subsidised desexing is available. The fee includes free microchipping and vaccination. 

For more information about subsidised de-sexing, call 0417 223 556.

More information about owning a pet
The Companion Animals Act requires you to have your dog microchipped at a veterinarian or animal welfare organisation, and pay the lifetime registration fee. 
Responsible dog ownership involves:
  • Microchipping and ensuring your dog is wearing a collar and identification tag at all times.
  • Ensuring your dog is lifetime registered, which makes it easier to identify if it is lost.
  • Keeping your dog on a leash, unless in a designated off-leash area.
  • Keeping your dog securely within your premises, as they can do a lot of damage if unrestrained and unsupervised.
  • De-sexing your dog.
  • Collecting and disposing of dog faeces.
  • Protecting our wildlife by keeping control of your dog.
  • Taking care of and keeping your dog entertained to avoid excessive barking.
On the spot fines may apply to breaches of the legislation. See our Enforcement page for more information.

The Companion Animals Act incorporates cats into legislation.

This means a greater responsibility is placed upon cat owners to control their cats. You may have to pay a fine if you breach any rules. Click here to read more

Responsible cat ownership includes:

  • Animal identification, proper housing, feeding, control and breeding practices are all practices of responsible cat ownership;
  • Ensuring your cat is not a nuisance to neighbours and local wildlife;
  • Microchipping your cat before it reaches 12 weeks old, or prior to being sold or given away;
  • Having your cats de-sexed; and
  • Putting two bells on your cat's collar.

The Companion Animals Act, which first came into effect in September 1998, is designed to benefit pets, their owners and the wider community.

Under the Act, you have responsibilities if you want to have a pet in your home. These include a permanent identification and lifetime registration system, which greatly assists authorities in returning lost and injured animals to their owners.

Under the Act, cats are considered to have no boundaries and are free to roam. Due to this, councils are only able to seize stray cats if they are in a public place prohibited under the Act (i.e food preparation/consumption area or wildlife protection area), or it is necessary for the protection of a person or animal from injury or death. 
 
In circumstances where the health and welfare of an animal is the issue, the most appropriate authority to contact is the RSPCA.



Enforcement

Council is responsible for implementing the Companion Animals Act legislation. We have a range of responsibilities, including enforcement.

We give enforcement powers to Rangers or Animal Control Officers. They have power to:

  • Request the names and addresses of people who are suspected to have breached the Companion Animals Act;
  • Issue on the spot penalties for some offences, such as failure to dispose of dog droppings;
  • Seize an animal which is stray, or to prevent injury to a person or another animal or damage to property;
  • Issue nuisance orders, which require the owner of a dog or cat to stop the animal from causing a particular nuisance;
  • Enter private property to remove a dog or cat which has attacked a person or animal, under certain circumstances;
  • Destroy an animal which has attacked a person or animal; and 
  • Stop an animal which is attacking or harassing animals in a wildlife protection area or on enclosed lands.

Any animal that is injured is not seized under the Companion Animals Act but under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTA).

POCTA states that where a cat or dog has been injured by a vehicle, the driver of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring that it receives appropriate treatment to alleviate pain.

The driver must also, as soon as practicable, inform the owner of the animal or the RSPCA, Animal Welfare League or Police (Sect 14).

Council is unable to remove injured animals.
 

In NSW, there are several breeds of dog which are on a Restricted Breeds list. Lots of people keep dogs to protect their homes, which is fine unless they become a threat to the community.

You must notify Council within 24 hours if a dog attacks a person or an animal other than vermin. You should also notify us if you believe that a dog is a danger or a menace.

The links below allow owners to access information about Restricted, Dangerous and Menacing Dogs in NSW:

Pets are also a common source of noise pollution in our communities. Dogs in particular often cause disturbances, especially if they are incessant barkers.

Dogs bark for many reasons and some barking is inevitable – it's their means of communication. However, sometimes this can become an anti-social problem. If a dog barking is becoming an issue, you can find out what the EPA says here.

If you are an owner responsible for the barking dog, you may be issued with a nuisance order.

The Companion Animals Act ensures safety for all when it comes to domestic animals. The law is strict on dog attacks, restricted, dangerous and menacing dogs, and nuisance animals.

Problem dogs

All owners are required to be responsible dog owners. You may be issued with a penalty notice or initiate court action by Council or the police if your dogs are not controlled properly.

This includes excessive barking​,  and you may even be found responsible if your dog attacks or injures another person.

Problem cats

All owners are required to be responsi​ble cat owners. Cats can sometimes be noisy, damage property and even kill or injure wildlife. It's important that you are vigilant.

Under the NSW Government’s Companion Animals Act, cats are considered to have no boundaries and are free to roam. Due to this, councils are only able to seize stray cats if they are in a public place prohibited under the Act (i.e food preparation/consumption area or wildlife protection area), or it is necessary for the protection of a person or animal from injury or death.

In circumstances where the health and welfare of a cat is the issue, the most appropriate authority to contact is the RSPCA.
 

Impounding

If a dog is causing a problem, off-leash, stray or lost, it will be taken to the Canterbury-Bankstown Animal Shelter. You have limited time to collect your animal, and there is a fee for release. 

Both cats and dogs have the potential to produce pollution.

Dog faeces

Faeces in creeks and rivers can lead to an increased growth of algal blooms. Contaminated water can also produce nasty bacteria which can cause various health related problems including diarrhoea.
 
It is a requirement under the Companion Animals Act 1998 that all dog faeces be collected, removed  and disposed of by the owner in a waste bin. There are special 'Doggy Bins' in many of our parks and reserves for this purpose.
 
Failure to remove your animal's faeces incurs an on the spot fine of $275.