Pets & animals

You must register your cat and dog. Registrations are managed by the NSW Government's Pet Registry. 

What to do if a pet is causing nuisance in your neighbourhood.

Find an off-leash area near you.

Pet registration

Cats and dogs must be microchipped and registered.

If your pet is registered and your details are up to date, it can be safely returned if it gets lost. It’s also the law – pet cats and dogs must be microchipped and then registered in NSW.

You can get your dog or cat microchipped at your local vet.

You must register your pet online on the NSW Government's Pet Registry website.

Register online

If you are unable to register online, you can download a paper form from the Office of Local Government and take it to one of our customer service centres.

Note, if you are a registered breeder seeking a registration discount, you'll need to visit one of our customer service centre with copies of your breeder's certificates.

If you own a cat that hasn't been desexed or a restricted/dangerous dog, you will have to pay an additional annual fee.

Changing your registration

You need to update the NSW Pet Registry when:

  • any change occurs in the registration information or animal identification information (let us know within 14 days)
  • a court declares (or revokes a declaration that) your dog is dangerous or menacing (within 7 days)
  • your pet passes away (notification required within 28 days)
  • your pet has been missing for more than 72 hours (within 4 days)
  • your pet has been found after having been reported missing (within 3 days)

You can change your pet's details online on the NSW Government's Pet Registry website.

Register online

If you are unable to register online, you can download a paper form from the Office of Local Government and take it to one of our customer service centres.

Off leash areas

There are 13 parks where dogs can exercise without a leash.

There is one beach where dogs can exercise without a leash:

  • off-leash beach area at Kyeemagh at all times, from Friday 13 August 2021 to Friday 1 December 2021 (extended to December due to COVID).

 

Rules for off-leash areas

  • dogs must be kept under control and supervised at all times, in sight of their owner/handler

  • you must be physically able to control or restrain the dog if required by chain, cord or leash

  • your dog should not harass people or other animals. Even when dogs are in off-leash areas, they must still be under effective voice control

  • if any dog shows signs of aggression or antisocial behaviour the dog’s handler must leash and remove their dog immediately

  • you must clean up after your dog at all times

  • you must keep your dog on a leash when entering or exiting the designated off leash area

Please check the signs at each site for specific times and other regulations.

Dogs are prohibited in the following places, whether they are leashed or not:

  • within 10 metres of playgrounds and play equipment

  • within 10 metres of food outlets, except if the place is in a public thoroughfare (such as a road, footpath or pathway)

  • in bathing areas such as tidal pools, beaches and foreshores

  • within schools

  • within child care centres

  • within shopping arcades or shopping complexes, including parking areas or access to shops

  • within any area set apart for the protection of wildlife.

More information on off-leash areas:

More information on pets and animals

Off-leash etiquette

Establish good behaviours first; untrained dogs are best kept on a leash

Ensure your dog has undergone adequate socialisation and trialling before being taken off-leash

Start with a long lead to test the waters first

Know what to do If your dog makes a break for It

Know your responsibilities as an owner, morally and legally

Know your dog's temperament; if they are not the right fit for off-leash dog walking, then make the right decision for you, your dog and the community

Supervision is key; you wouldn’t take your eyes off your child near water - the same rules apply to your furbaby

Update ID tags and microchip information beforehand

Learn how to safely break up a dog fight

Have a Plan B; always be ready and equipped to put your dog back on a leash at any point

Don’t risk it; If you are uncertain if your dog is the right fit for off-leash dog walking, then it's better not to risk it and keep everyone's furkid safe

History can repeat itself; if issues have happened in the past, then perhaps it's time to make the call and keep your pooch on its leash and muzzle. Off-leash dog walking is not for “every man and their dog”

When walking at night, take reflective devices like a reflective jacket for you and your dog, or an illuminated collar with a bell and a torch or other handheld light. Remain alert during night walks and avoid distractions like excessively loud music or phones.

Nuisance dogs

A dog is considered a nuisance if it:

  • is habitually at large
  • makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises
  • repeatedly defecates on property (other than a public place) outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept
  • repeatedly runs at or chases any person, animal (other than vermin) or vehicle
  • endangers the health of any person or animal (other than vermin)
  • Rrpeatedly causes substantial damage to anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept.

If a dog in your neighbourhood is causing problems:

  • talk to the dog's owner. They may not even be aware of the problem
  • if you can't agree on a solution, contact us on 1300 581 299 to ask our Rangers to attend
  • one of our Rangers will contact you to discuss your complaint
  • if the problem isn't resolved, our Rangers can issue a nuisance order and possibly a fine to the dog's owner.

We encourage you to report dog attacks and other problems, such as owners not following the rules.

We also visit local parks, including designated off-leash areas, to make sure pets and people are doing the right thing.

Nuisance cats

Cats may be considered a nuisance if they:

  • make a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises
  • repeatedly damage anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept.

Under NSW law, cats are allowed in public places without being on a leash or under the effective control of a person. They are not allowed within 10 meters of food preparation and consumption areas.

Please let us know if you see a cat in a prohibited area or attacking a person. Our Rangers cannot simply pick up stray cats – they might be someone's pet and there are strict provisions for the seizure and impounding of a cat.

Rangers can seize a cat in areas where they are prohibited, such as a wildlife protection area, commercial kitchen, restaurant or café. Rangers can also seize cats that have injured a person or another domestic or native animal.

Don't encourage stray cats to stay in your area and keep your garbage bin closed. There are many sprays and repellants available on the market to deter cats form frequenting areas where they are unwanted.

Orders for nuisance animals

If you have a pet that is causing nuisance, we may issue you with an order to stop the behaviour that constituted the nuisance.

You have 7 days after the date the notice is given in which to object to a proposed order. An order remains in force for 6 months after it is issued. If you receive a subsequent fine it will be substantially higher in value.

If we have issues you more than 5 orders, we may then issue you with a Court Attendance Notice.

Dog and other animal attacks

To report a dog attack, contact us immediately on 1300 581 299.

Wild animals

We don't manage wild animals unless they have attacked or harmed a person. This includes bats, possums and feral cats.

Identification numbers for selling or giving away a cat or dog

Advertisements selling or giving away kittens, cats, puppies or dogs, must include an identification number. The identification number can be either:

  • a microchip number
  • a breeder identification number
  • a rehoming organisation number.

This applies regardless of:

  • the age of the animal
  • the place you plan to advertise
  • whether you are a hobby or professional breeder; or your cat or dog has had an accidental or one-off litter
  • whether or not you bred the animal
  • whether or not the animal you are selling or rehoming has been born yet.

If you don't use a correct identification number you may be fined or face court.

Special rules for pet greyhounds

Greyhounds don't have to wear a muzzle in public if they are registered on the NSW Pet Registry, unless they are in an off-leash area and have not undergone an approved retraining program.

A greyhound that has undergone an approved retraining program will wear a green collar, or the person in charge of the dog can carry a 'proof of completion' card.

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Pets & animals