Find out about your responsibilities as a pet owner in Shellharbour, as well as information on reporting animal-related issues.
In accordance with the Companion Animals Act 1998, a cat can be declared a nuisance if it “makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premise” or “repeatedly damages anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept”.
If you feel comfortable speaking to the cat's owner, approach them to have a discussion. A short conversation may be enough to resolve the problem. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to the cat owner, if the problem persists after the owner is made aware of the problem, or if the owner is uncooperative, report the matter to our Customer Service team by calling 4221 6111.
The NSW Government is committed to promoting responsible pet ownership and improving animal welfare standards.
From 1 July 2020 the Government will introduce annual permits for owners of non-desexed cats, restricted dog breeds, and dogs declared to be dangerous.
This means that owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
Owners of dogs of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. This applies to dogs that are already registered.
Pet owners will be able to pay for annual permits using the online NSW Pet Registry, or through their local council. Annual permits are not available from Service NSW.
Anyone registering a cat on the NSW Pet Registry will be informed that they must pay for an $80 annual permit if their animal is not desexed by four months of age.
Exemptions will be in place for cats that are registered by 1 July 2020, cats kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies, and cats which cannot be desexed for medical reasons.
Why are annual permits being introduced?
Annual permits will create a stronger incentive to desex cats, which in turn will improve their health and wellbeing, and reduce behaviours such as roaming and aggression.
Improving desexing rates and preventing unwanted litters will also ease the burden on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates, and help to address concerns about feral and stray cats and their effect on wildlife.
Placing further control measures on dangerous and restricted dogs will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.
Annual permit fees will go directly to the Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local councils including pounds/shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.
The fund is also used to operate the NSW Pet Registry and carry out responsible pet ownership initiatives.
Barking dog complaints are one of the most common complaints received by our rangers. Barking is a dog's natural way to communicate, and there are a number of reasons why dogs bark.
If you feel comfortable speaking to the dog's owner, approach them to have a discussion. A short conversation may be enough to resolve the problem. If you do not feel comfortable speaking to the dog owner, if the noise persists after the owner is made aware of the problem, or if the owner is uncooperative, report the matter to our Customer Service team by calling 4221 6111.
The Companion Animal Act 1998 states that a dangerous dog is a dog that:
- has, without provocation, attacked or killed a person or animal (other than vermin),
- has, without provocation, repeatedly threatened to attack or repeatedly chased a person or animal (other than vermin),
- has displayed unreasonable aggression towards a person or animal (other than vermin), or
- is kept or used for the purposes of hunting.
To notify us of a dangerous dog please call 4221 6111.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 states that a dog attack has occurred if “a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal”.
If you believe that you or your pet has been a victim of a dog attack, contact us or your local police as soon as possible and complete a dog attack form. If our rangers proceed with legal action against a dog owner you must, if required, be prepared to attend court and give evidence (should the matter proceed to that stage).
Taking into account the nature, seriousness and circumstances of the attack, our rangers may consider the option of a dangerous dog declaration. This option can be considered if serious attacks have taken place or if there is a potential for the dog to attack again.
There are a number of places in our City where dog owners are allowed to exercise their dog off the leash.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 sets out the control requirements concerning restricted breed dogs. There have been changes to the legislation that have increased the control requirements and penalties relating to restricted breeds.
The following dogs are restricted breeds under the Companion Animals Act 1998 No 87:
- American Pitbull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
- Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario
- Any other dog of a breed, kind or description whose importation into Australia is prohibited by or under the Customs Act 1901
- Any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council under Division 6 of this Part to be a restricted dog
- Any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section
If we believe that a dog is a breed, a cross-breed or of a kind listed as a restricted breed, we may give notice to the owner of the dog of our intention to declare the dog restricted.
Responsible cat owners should ensure that their cat
- is microchipped and wearing an identification tag;
- does not enter prohibited areas, such as wildlife protection areas and food preparation/consumption areas;
- does not interfere with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises;
- does not repeatedly damage anything outside the property on which they are ordinarily kept;
- does not cause harm to our local wildlife.
Cats are not required by law to be kept inside, however, it is recommended that you keep your cat inside at night.