Keeping animals in residential areas

When keeping animals at home, particularly in residential areas, you should consider the type and how many animals are suitable for your place.

It's important you consider the health and safety of yourself, the animal(s), your surrounding neighbours, wider community and the environment by ensuring that your animals are:

  • Kept in clean and healthy conditions for people and the animals
  • Physically clean and smell like they should smell
  • Well behaved and not noisy or annoying for your neighbours
  • Cleaned up after and not creating a pollution problem
  • Healthy and aren't attracting a large number of flies, lice, fleas or other pests and parasites
  • Friendly and not causing your neighbours to fear for their safety.

Take a look at Council's Keeping of Animals policy for the recommended maximum number of animals that you should own at your place.

You can also use Report It to let us know about a range of animal issues.

What can you do if you have a complaint
Talk to your neighbours

In the first instance, try to solve the problem by talking amicably and calmly to the animal owner. Often people are not aware there is a problem and are happy to work with you to solve the issue after being notified. Involving Council or other agencies too early in the negotiation process could result in a breakdown in relations, which may have been avoided had you talked with them directly.

Contact Council

If you have evidence that proves animals are a neighbourhood nuisance or being mistreated you can contact Council’s Citizen Services on 02 4934 9700 to lodge a request. You will need to provide your name, address, phone number and location.

What can Council do

Council has certain powers to control and regulate the keeping of animals under the Local Government Act 1993, the Local Government Regulations 2005, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the associated State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

If complaints received by Council are substantiated, Council may request that appropriate actions be undertaken to resolve the issue(s) identified, including:

  • Prohibiting the keeping of various kinds of animals
  • Restricting the number of various kinds of animals to be kept at a premises
  • Requiring that animals be kept appropriately

Animal welfare

On occasions, Council receives complaints in regards to the welfare of an animal. Council does not have the authority to oversee the treatment of animals. If you feel an animal is not being adequately looked after or cruelly treated, then it is important that you contact the RSPCAAnimal Welfare League or if an emergency, the NSW Police on Triple Zero (000)