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

Barking dog log now required

As part of our new procedure, you will be required to complete a barking dog log over a 3 week period after lodging a barking dog complaint. This will assist our Animal Control Ranger’s in their investigating.

Roaming/stray dogs and cats

Dogs must be confined to the owner's property at all times and are not allowed to roam. Unlike dogs, cats are allowed to roam in public places and onto private property. There is no law prohibiting cats from roaming.

Council is very proactive in its education programs on cat management through its companion animal subsided desexing program. You'll also find information on how to keep your pets safe and where to find leash free areas under the pet ownership section of our website.

Have you lost your pet? browse our list of lost animals to see if your loved one has been handed in to us.

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).

When is a stray cat/roaming?

Unlike dogs, cats are allowed to roam in 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 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?

If you see a roaming dog or cat, 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 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
  • take it to the Animal Care Facility (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.

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) or the RSPCA.
  • 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:
8:30am to 7pm

Saturday: 9am to 4pm

Sunday: 9am to 2pm
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: 9am to 12pm
02 9146 1163
201 Rookwood Road, Yagoona
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Saturday and Sunday
9am to 8pm
02 9770 7555

Report a roaming dog/dog attack/stray aggressive dogs

If you see a dog roaming around, or need assistance in relation to a dog attack, please contact us for assistance.

During operating hours contact our:
Animal Control Rangers on 02 4645 4604
Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

For after hours assistance contact:
Campbelltown Police on 02 4620 1199
Macquarie Fields Police on 02 9605 0499

If the dog is NOT ROAMING now and you know the address that it lives at:

Report roaming dog online

Barking dogs

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

If you are annoyed by the noise from your neighbour's dog, which for example is disrupting holding a conversation, watching television, listening to a radio or sleeping, there are several things you can do.

How can I make a complaint about barking dogs?

Talk to the dog's owner

Sometimes the issue of barking dogs can be resolved by speaking to the dog owner first. 

  • Many owners are unaware their dog is creating a nuisance for others, especially if it is barking when they are not home. Letting your neighbour know their dog is barking early gives them the best chance to address the problem.
  • Once a person is made aware, most of the time they will take steps to fix the problem.
  • Understand there is no 'quick fix' for nuisance barking, and the issue may take some time for your neighbour to resolve.

Contact the Community Justice Centre

If the problem persists, you may also seek the assistance of the Community Justice Centre (CJC), phone 1800 990 777 for mediation.

The CJC is a government funded, independent centre that specialises in settling differences between neighbours through mediation without getting into complicated legal processes.

Report barking dogs to council

If you have reported the issue to your neighbour and have not heard or seen a difference in the dogs behaviour, you can make a request to council to investigate your barking dog complaint.

Report barking dog online

  • As part of our procedure, you will be required to complete a barking dog log over a 3 week period after lodging a barking dog complaint. This will assist our Animal Control Ranger’s in their investigating.
  • Council's investigation process forms part of a legal process and we must obtain sufficient information and evidence to confirm the existence of a nuisance.

Please note: Council keeps complete and comprehensive records in the event that legal action is taken. Personal information is only given out when it is directed by law to do so. See our privacy policy for more information.

Seek a noise abatement order

You can take action independently of Council by seeking a Noise Abatement Order from the local court.

What can I do if my dog is barking?

  • Get feedback from as many neighbours as possible. If you are worried about talking to your neighbours have a look at the tips provided by the NSW EPA on dealing with barking dogs.
  • Ask your neighbours to contact you if your dog is barking for long periods. Knowing the times your dog barks will also help you work out the likely cause.
  • The RSPCA website has tips on controlling barking.
  • If you suspect a dog is being mistreated, contact an RSPCA inspector on 02 9770 7555.
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