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Roaming/stray dogs and cats, barking dogs and dog attacks

Roaming/stray dogs and cats

When is a dog a stray/roaming?

Under the Companion Animals Act 1998 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).

For assistance with aggressive stray dogs, contact our Animal Control Rangers on 02 4645 4604 during operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm

For assistance with aggressive stray dogs outside of Animal Control Ranger operating hours, contact:

When is a cat a stray/roaming?

Unlike dogs, cats are allowed to roam public places and onto private property. Cat owners are encouraged to keep their cat indoors at night to prevent their cat hunting, cat calling, fighting and being injured by cars or other animals.

Under the Companion Animals Act 1998 a cat may only be seized in the following circumstances:

  • If a cat is in a public place prohibited under the Act (eg food preparation/consumption area or wildlife protection area) (section 30).
  • If seizing the cat is reasonable and necessary for the protection of any person or animal (section 32).

Do councils have to collect stray/roaming dogs and cats?

The Companion Animals Act requires a council to accept into the pound any cat or 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/cat?

A person who seizes a dog or cat 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 to the council pound or other authorised council officer (eg 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.

Want to report?

  • If dog is NOT ROAMING now, report roaming dog online.
  • If dog is ROAMING NOW, contact the Animal Control Rangers on 02 4645 4604 during operating hours Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm
Outside 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 Animal Care Facility opens, the animal may be taken to any approved premises or the RSPCA. There are a number of approved premises within the Campbelltown LGA as follows:

Please note: The Macarthur Vet Group will no longer be available as a Council agent to accept stray/injured cats or dogs on Council's behalf.

However 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 stabilized 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.

Contact details for Glenfield Vet and RSPCA NSW are as follows:

Glenfield Vet
5/ 95 Harrow Road, Glenfield NSW
Phone: 02 9618 0177
Monday to Friday 8.30am – 7.00pm
Saturday 9.00am – 4.00pm
Sunday 9.00am – 2.00pm

201 Rookwood Road, Yagoona NSW
Phone: 02 9770 7555
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9.00am to 8.00pm

Barking dogs

 Barking is one way dogs communicate, but persistent barking can disturb neighbours and cause annoyance.

If you have a problem with a continually barking dog then the first step you should take is to speak to the dog owner if possible. They may not be aware the dog is a nuisance, especially if it is barking when they are not home.

You may also seek the assistance of the Community Justice Centre 1800 990 777 for mediation.

If the barking continues, you can report barking dog(s) online with Council to investigate the matter. Council is able to take regulatory action in relation to barking dogs, but only where it is satisfied that the barking persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the comfort of neighbours.

Please note: Council is unable to action online requests unless complete details (including contact information such as full name, address and contact phone number) have been provided.

You can take action independently of Council by seeking a noise abatement order from the local court.

For more information on how you can deal with barking dogs, visit the EPA website.

 If you suspect a dog is being mistreated, contact an RSPCA inspector on 02 9770 7555.

Dog attacks/stray aggressive dogs

For assistance with dog attacks or aggressive stray or roaming dogs, contact our Animal Control Rangers on 02 4645 4604 during operating hours:

  • Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm

For assistance outside of Animal Control Ranger operating hours, contact:

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