Animal issues

A paddling of ducks

Barking dogs

If a nearby dog is repeatedly barking and consistently disturbing the peace, we recommend you speak to the dog's owner in the first instance. Often the owner is unaware of the issue, and the complaint can be resolved without any Council help.

If you have tried to discuss the matter, but are not satisfied with the owner's response, we recommend speaking with the Community Justice Centre before reporting the issue to Council.

Dog attacks

It is an offence for a dog to attack another animal or person. If you, or your dog is involved in a dog attack, please collect the contact details of everyone involved, and report the incident as soon as possible.

Aggressive or dangerous dogs

Unfortunately some dogs are declared dangerous by Council based on their actions or breed, in order to keep the public and other pets safe.

Types of dangerous dogs

A dog can be declared dangerous if it is:

  • Trained to attack people or animals to guard their humans or property
  • Involved in a severe attack with another animal or human
  • Declared dangerous by another local council.

Restricted dogs laws in NSW apply to:

  • American pitbulls or pitbull terriers
  • Japanese tosas
  • Argentinean fighting dogs
  • Brazilian fighting dogs
  • Presa Canarios
  • Any dogs declared by an authorised officer of a council.

Rules for aggressive or dangerous dogs

If you’re an owner of a restricted breed or a declared dangerous dog, your dog must:

  • Be desexed, microchipped and registered
  • Be kept inside a purpose built enclosure with warning signs displayed
  • Wear a securely fitted muzzle when outside its enclosure
  • Stay on leash on walks, even in a designated off leash dog area

Owners must also pay an annual permit fee to keep the dog if it’s declared dangerous.

Cat issues

It’s often difficult to know whether a cat is lost or a stray as they are allowed to roam free. 

Removing, catching or trapping a roaming cat may cause the cat distress and should only be done to prevent injury or death of another domestic animal, or person, or if the cat is in a designated wildlife protection area. If you are concerned about a roaming cat around your place, our Rangers or a vet can check the microchip if the cat is contained.

If you have concerns about a roaming cat near you, let us know.

Bird issues

Birds can cause possible danger to people and animals, particularly in spring when birds, such as magpies, sometimes swoop to protect their young.

If there is a problem with swooping birds in a Council sporting facility, call our Customer Experience Team on 02 4934 9700. If the bird issue is happening on private property or park or street, please contact the Newcastle National Parks office at 02 4946 4100, or email.

Animal welfare

To keep animals, owners must follow the Keeping of Animals policy and ensure their pets are:

  • Kept in clean and healthy conditions
  • Physically clean and are cleaned up after
  • Well behaved, friendly, and not noisy for neighbours.

Let us know if you believe an animal owner is not following these requirements.

Council does not have the authority to make judgments on the treatment of pets or animals. If you feel like an animal is not being adequately looked after, it’s important you contact the RSPCA or the Animal Welfare League.

See Also
Lost and found animals