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Dogs and Cats

Contact Council's Animal Services team on 4732 7543 during business hours for advice and information, or 

  • Find animal ownership forms
  • report a dog attack - call Council on 4732 7777 or the police as soon as possible
  • enquire about your lost cat or dog - call Hawkesbury Animal Shelter (Mulgrave Rd, McGraths Hill) on 4560 4644
  • report an animal you've found - call Council's Animal Services on 4732 7543 during business hours
  • report animal cruelty - call the Animal Welfare League on 8777 3300 or RSPCA on 9770 7555.

If a barking dog in your neighbourhood is causing a problem for you, try talking to the dog owner first if possible. You can lodge a complaint with Council using our Community Disputes and Lodgment form (accessible pdf 177KB). To help us investigate and help resolve the problem, we will ask you to fill in a Barking Dog Diary.

Your responsibilities as a pet owner

If you own a cat or dog, the Companion Animals Act 1998 requires them to be microchipped and registered. See the NSW Office of Local Government website for details and application forms, as well as useful information on topics including:

  • barking dogs
  • dog attacks
  • information for breeders
  • responsible pet ownership, including desexing your pet
  • restricted and dangerous dog breeds.

On-the-spot fines apply under the Companion Animals Act 1998 for:

  • Unleashed dog in a public place
  • Dog not wearing a collar and ID tag in public
  • Animal not permanently identified/microchipped
  • Selling an animal not permanently identified
  • Animal not registered
  • Failure to remove faeces
  • Not notifying change in registration ID
  • Dog or cat in a prohibited place (including school/preschool/kindergarten grounds, shopping centres, public bathing areas including beaches, food preparation areas, sporting fields, playgrounds and wildlife protection areas)
  • Owning a dog that attacks.

There are also heavy fines for dogs that are declared dangerous or restricted. The NSW Companion Animals Act 1998 was updated in November 2013 by the Companion Animals Amendment Bill 2013, giving councils more options to deal with dangerous dogs and encourage responsible pet ownership, including:

1. Councils are more able to enforce lifetime registration of cats and dogs. This aims to improve the ability of councils to track cats and dogs through more accurate register data and allow councils to fund further regulatory activity and education programs.
• An on-the-spot penalty of $275 applies for failing to register a cat or dog by 6 months of age.
• A companion animal owner who receives notice from council to register their cat or dog has 14 days to do so (section 10B). Failing to comply with this notice may incur a $275 penalty.

From 1 July, 2014 the registration fee for a cat or dog will be:
• for a desexed animal —$51,
• for a desexed animal owned by an eligible pensioner—$20,
• for an animal that is not desexed (except an animal kept by a recognised breeder for breeding purposes)—$188,
• for an animal that is not desexed and that is kept by a recognised breeder for breeding purposes—$51.

2. Significant increases to penalties in relation to dog attacks, particularly where the attack is the result of an owner’s recklessness:
• An on-the-spot fine of $550 applies, for a dog found guilty of an attack. There is a maximum penalty of $22,000 or 2 years imprisonment, under Section 16 (1AA).
• An on-the-spot fine of $1320 applies for dogs that have already been declared dangerous. There is a maximum penalty of $55,000 or 4 years imprisonment in the case of a declared dangerous, menacing or restricted dog, under Section 16 (1AB).

3. Creation of a clearer dog control framework to provide a broader range of options for councils to use to deal with nuisance, menacing or dangerous dogs:
• A menacing dog category has been introduced (Section 33A) which may be applied to dogs that show unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal, or are involved in less serious attacks.
• An authorised officer may declare a dog to be dangerous or menacing if the dog has already been declared dangerous or menacing under a law of another State or Territory (s 34).
• Councils can immediately seize a dog for the purpose of microchipping and registration after a notice of intention has been issued to declare the dog as menacing, dangerous or restricted (s36).
• Councils can seize and destroy dangerous dogs where control requirements are breached once, and seize and destroy menacing dogs where control requirements are breached twice in 12 months (s58G).

Renting with Pets

Are you a tenant looking for a pet friendly rental? Or a landlord considering renting your property to tenants with pets? For information and agreement forms for tenants and landlords visit the Australian Companion Animal Council website.

Local off-leash areas for dogs 

Tips for responsible pet ownership

Cats

  • should be contained inside or in a cat run, particularly at night, to restrict roaming and potential nuisance to neighbours
  • should wear a collar with name, address where it resides and the owner's contact number
  • should have a bell attached to their collar to help reduce their threat to birds

Dogs

  • should be trained from a young age, to help reduce nuisance barking and increase their socialisation skills
  • need daily exercise for at least half an hour, such as a walk on a lead.

Other useful links

  • Dogs NSW (formerly the Royal NSW Canine Council) sets standards for breeds and maintains and controls pedigree.
  • Pets In The City is a handy guide if you're considering owning a cat or dog. It includes tips on selecting a breed to suit your household and lifestyle, and how to care for your pet.
  • Penrith Kennel and Obedience Club runs; regular training classes in responsible dog ownership and socialising dogs, and breed shows and obedience trials.
  • Keeping poultry: Residents can keep 10 chickens (no roosters) on their property in the Penrith Local Government Area. You will need to meet the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 requirements as outlined in Division 2 Keeping of poultry.