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Being a responsible pet owner

Did you know you could be fined up to $77,000 if you are not a responsible pet owner?

The effective control of your four-legged friend will help protect your hip pocket, as well as other animals and residents.

Dog owners are reminded that when their dog is in a public place, including parks and reserves, it must be kept under effective control of a competent person by means of a secure leash.

The only exception is when the dog is being responsibly supervised in a designated leash free area. Rangers regularly patrol our public areas, and fines can be issued for an offence of 'unleashed dog', so regardless of how well-behaved or how small or large your dog is, it must be kept on a leash for the safety and convenience of others and to avoid a fine.

All dog and cat owners have a responsibility to their animal, their community and the environment. Desexing your pet prevents unwanted litters and reduces the likelihood of your animal straying and exhibiting anti-social behaviour.

Being a responsible dog owner means your dog must:

  • be the right type for your family and lifestyle and be kept in a suitably sized yard
  • not escape from your yard
  • be on a leash under the control of a competent person at all times in public places including parks and reserves
  • not bark excessively and cause a nuisance
  • be micro-chipped at three months and registered at six months of age for dogs and four months of age for cats
  • not allowed to be in areas such as children's playground areas, school grounds, restaurants and other signposted areas
  • have regular vet visits to keep your dog vaccinated and healthy.

Other things to remember for dog owners:

  • You must pick up your dog's droppings when taking it for a walk
  • You cannot walk more than four dogs at any one time
  • Dogs declared dangerous, menacing or of restricted breed must be muzzled when walked
  • Keep your registration contact details up to date so your pet can be returned home if they are lost.

Being a responsible cat owner:

Being a responsible cat owner means ensuring the welfare and wellbeing of your cat as well as protecting the local wildlife and neighbourhood amenity.

  • Identify your pet with a collar, tag and cat bell
  • A dusk to dawn curfew is encouraged to keep cats indoors at night to prevent your cat hunting, cat calling, fighting and being injured by cars or other animals
  • Consider installing a cat run, cat proof fencing or a pet enclosure around a tall tree to allow your cat the freedom to climb, scratch and perch in a high place
  • Regular vet visits to keep your cat healthy, vaccinated and parasite-free.

Things to remember for cat owners:

  • You are encouraged to keep your cat indoors at night to prevent your cat hunting, cat calling and fighting with other cats
  • Some people may not welcome visits from your cat in their yard and it may cause damage to property and gardens. Consider options to allow your cat to enjoy your yard without being able to enter neighbouring properties
  • Keep your registration contact details up to date so your pet can be returned home if they are lost.

Duty of care

Pet owners and those responsible for animals in the Campbelltown Local Government Area have a duty of care to ensure the animals they own or care for are well looked after. They also need to ensure animals do not pose a threat in terms of causing injury, property damage or generally do not affect the amenity of the neighbouring community. In the event that any of the above circumstances arise the owner or carer may be in breach of their legal obligations.

Surrendering your pet

If you are unable to continue to care for your pet and are considering surrendering it to Council, please contact the Animal Care Facility on 02 4645 4790 to discuss your options. There are fees involved at the time of surrender.

Offences and fines

The Companion Animals Act 1998 provides heavy fines for dog owners who allow their pets to interfere with the comfort and wellbeing of their neighbours.

Offence Fine  
Dog defacating  up to $880
Not micro-chipped up to $880
Not registered up to $5,500
Roaming or barking dogs up to $1,650
Attacking dogs up to $22,000
Offences with restricted dogs up to $77,000 plus imprisonment


Recent changes to the Companion Animals Act 1998 have seen an increase in penalties for certain offences, particularly where a dog displays unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal, with substantial fines and/or a term of imprisonment possible.

A new category of 'menacing dog' has also been introduced, making it possible for a dog that is aggressive, or that has attacked a person or animal without causing serious injury or death, to be declared menacing. Once declared, certain control requirements apply, such as mandatory desexing, confining the dog in an enclosure where it is ordinarily kept, and keeping the dog under effective control and muzzled when outside it's home property.

For further information, please contact the Animal Control Rangers on 02 4645 4604.

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