There is no doubt about it, we love our pets and their companionship, evidenced by the statistics that over one in three Australian households include a dog, and one in four is home to a cat. The NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 outlines cat and dog owners legal responsibilities to ensure people, the community and companion animals live together cooperatively. As a pet owner, it's important to know what your responsibilities are and what role Council plays in relation to the management and responsible keeping of domestic pets in the community.
What you are required to do as a responsible pet owner
All cats and dogs, other than exempt cats and dogs, must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away, whichever happens first. Your pet must be microchipped to be registered. Microchipping is the most effective way to help ensure your pet can be returned to you if it becomes lost and to avoid penalties.
All cats and dogs, other than exempt cats and dogs, must be registered with Council before it is six months old. You can find the registration form here.
Update your cat and dog's details with a change of owner and address form, which you can find here.
Attach a tag and collar with an address and phone number.
- Keep dogs on a leash outside private property, and the leash must be held by someone who can control the dog.
- Pick up after the animal when it defecates on public land, and deposit the excrement in the toilet, a compost or a dog bin.
- Owners must not allow an animal to defecate in the gutter or on the road.
- Ensure the pet does not enter school grounds without written permission from the principal, shopping centres, or come within 10 metres of children’s playground equipment.
What role Council plays
Maitland City Council perform a range of functions relating to the management and responsible keeping of domestic pets in the community including:
- Registration of cats and dogs on the companion animals register, with the associated Lifetime Registration companion animals form and applicable fee.
- Record change of details on the companion animals register, with the associated companion animals register form which you can find here.
- Report any dangerous, menacing and restricted breeds of dogs, for Council to address to ensure their control and management within the community.
- Report any complaints or animal nuisances, in particular barking dogs, for Council to address within the community.
- Collection of animals found wandering.
- Provide responsible pet ownership information for owners.
- Provide off-leash exercise areas.
- Provide a Keeping of animal's policy, to inform the community about how many animals, the type and what is needed to be considered when keeping animals in the Maitland LGA.