Roaming / Stray Dogs

Dogs must be confined to the owner's property at all times and are not allowed to roam.

Council's responsibilities
The Companion Animals Act mandates that a council must take in dogs that are brought to the pound or handed over to authorised person, such as a ranger.  However, the Act does not impose an obligation on Council to actively gather or retrieve "stray" animals found in public areas or on private property.

The responsibility lies more with individuals who come across such animals to take appropriate action, such as following the relevant procedures outlined in the Act (see below) or contacting Council.

It's important to note that councils aren't required to proactively collect dogs roaming freely in public areas or private properties under this legal framework.

Finding a lost dog

If you can approach the dog:

  1. Check if the dog has a tag and try to contact the owner.

  2. Take the dog to the nearest vet or to Campbelltown City Council Animal Care Facility to be scanned for a microchip.

  3. If it is not within the Council's business hours, take the dog to the closest vet who can scan the dog for a microchip and contact the owner. The vet will generally then contact Campbelltown City Council within 3 business days (if possible).

Should I seize a stray dog?

According to the Companion Animals Act, any person can seize a stray dog if the dog:

  • Is not under effective control in a public place.
  • Is in a prohibited area.
  • Attacks or bites any person or animal in a public place.
  • Is on your property.
  • Cannot be secured on its property.
  • To prevent damage to property, only if it is reasonable and necessary.

However, any person who seizes a dog and does not return or take it to an Approved Premises (Vet) or Council Pound is guilty of an offence.

When is a dog a stray/roaming?

Under the Companion Animals Act any dog which is in a place, other than where it is ordinarily kept, unaccompanied by a responsible person is a "stray".

Any person, including a council officer, may seize a stray dog in the following circumstances as provided under the Act:

  • If a dog is found in a public place and is not under the effective control of some competent person (section 13)
  • If a dog is in a public place prohibited under the Act (eg children's play area or food preparation/consumption area) (section 14)
  • If seizing the dog is reasonable and necessary for the protection of any person or animal or to prevent damage to property (section 22)
  • If the dog has attacked a person or animal and the dog is on property owned or occupied by the person seizing the dog. (section 18)

In addition, council officers and police have powers to seize a dog which has attacked from the owner's property if the owner is not present and the dog cannot be adequately secured on the property (section 18).

Do councils have to collect stray/roaming dogs?

The Companion Animals Act requires a council to accept into the pound dog which is delivered to the pound or other authorised person of the council, such as a ranger.

However, the Act does not require a council to collect a "stray" animal from any public or private place.

What do I do with a stray/roaming or seized dog?

If you see a roaming dog, and it is safe to approach, check if it has a tag or any other identification that may help to identify the owner.

A person who seizes a dog under the Companion Animals Act must:

  • cause it to be delivered as soon as possible to its owner, if the owner can be identified, or
  • nearest Approved Premises (Vet), or
  • take it to the Animal Care Facility (council pound) or other authorised council officer (eg Community Response Ranger) (section 62).

A person who does not comply with this is guilty of an offence and may be liable for a penalty of up to $3,300.

Outside of the Animal Care Facility hours

Where a stray cat or dog is lawfully seized by a member of the community outside the opening hours of the Animal Care Facility and it is not possible to keep the cat or dog until the facility opens:

  • The animal may be taken to any approved premises within the Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA).
  • If the cat or dog is severely injured or unwell the animal is required to be treated by the receiving vet (as per POCTA obligations) until the animal is stabilised and well enough for transfer to Glenfield Vets, or the Animal Care Facility as appropriate.
  • Less critical cases can be referred to Glenfield Vets for interim treatment and holding until well enough for transfer to Council's Animal Care Facility.
Locations in the Campbelltown LGA Operating hours Phone
Glenfield Vets
5/ 95 Harrow Road,
Monday to Friday:
9 am to 6:30 pm

Saturday: 9am to 3pm

Sunday: Closed
02 9618 017
Campbelltown Veterinary Hospital
15 Chamberlain Street,
Monday to Friday:
9am to 1pm
4pm to 7pm

Saturday: 9am to 12 noon

Sunday: 10am to 12 noon
02 4626 4222
Bradbury Vet (Macarthur Vet Group)
75 Jacaranda Avenue,
Monday to Friday:
8:30am to 7pm

Saturday and Sunday:
9am to 5pm
02 4627 1333
Greencross Vets Campbelltown
Inside Petbarn, 3 Blaxland Service Way,
Monday to Friday:
8:30am to 6pm

Saturday: 8:30am to 5pm

Sunday: Closed
02 9146 1163

Have you lost your pet?

Browse our list of lost animals to see if your loved one has been handed in to us.


Keeping pets safe

You'll find helpful information on how to keep your pets safe and where to find leash free areas in our pet ownership section.