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Responsible pet ownership Responsible pet ownership

Pets provide years of companionship, unconditional love, loyalty and entertainment for their owners.
Pet ownership is a long-term commitment and comes with responsibility for the pet, to the community and
the environment.

Should you get a pet?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I prepared to care for a pet for its whole life? Average age is 12 years.
  • Can I afford the many thousands of dollars for the life of the pet? Consider costs such as veterinary, desexing, vaccinations, registration and food.
  • Do I understand how to care for a pet?
  • Do I have time to care for a pet?
  • Do I live in suitable accommodation with adequate space for a pet?
  • Will a pet fit into my lifestyle and priorities?

If not, perhaps pet ownership is not an option for you at this time. Before making a decision, you might like to volunteer with a local animal welfare group and consider fostering cats or dogs for a period of time to determine what is right for you and your family.

What pet should you choose?

Carefully consider the following:

  • Breed;
  • Size;
  • Grooming;
  • Exercise requirements;
  • Temperament; and
  • Hygiene requirements.

Puppies and active dogs can be a danger to frail seniors. The most frequently euthanized dogs are large active types. Do not impulsively buy a cute puppy.

Caring for your pet


Consult your veterinarian with regard to feeding, parasite control, vaccination and desexing.


Provide an adequate shelter with shade and have a fence/enclosure that is sturdy, well-built and appropriate to prevent your pet from leaving the property.

Dogs in koala habitat areas should be confined to an area or tied up at night when koalas are active.

For more information refer to Koala Mapping

Exercise and leashes

A dog should be exercised at least once a day to maintain physical and mental well-being.

When your dog is not on your property, it must be on a leash, unless in a designated ‘off-leash’ area.

For locations and times, refer to the Dog off-leash areas webpage or call 1300 79 49 29. 

Always clean up after your pet, it is an offence to leave your pet’s droppings in a public place.

Registration and microchipping


It is mandatory for dogs 12 weeks and over to be registered.

The registration tag must be worn on the collar at all times.

Owners of unregistered animals face heavy fines and spot checks are carried out by Council officers.

For further information refer to Animal Registration.


Microchipping of cats and dogs is compulsory prior to sale/transfer and upon reaching 12 weeks of age.

If your pet becomes lost, you are far more likely to be reunited if it is microchipped. A tag with contact details attached to your pet’s collar also assists with bringing it home.

Change of ownership details - updating your contact details

It is really important that Council has your current contact information. Should your pet escape the yard, Council Officers will be quickly able to contact and reunite you with your pet.

Please advise Council if you change your address, or contact details, or if the pet changes ownership by:

Remember to also notify the Microchipping organisation of any change to your details.


A cat or dog must be desexed before it is 22 weeks of age unless the following circumstances below apply:

  1. the dog was registered with Council prior to the commencement of this local law and has not changed ownership;
  2. it is 8 years plus;
  3. there is a signed veterinarian surgeon certificate for the cat or dog stating that desexing is likely to be a serious risk to the health of the animal;
  4. the owner or responsible person for the cat or dog is the owner or operator of a pound or shelter;
  5. is a member of a recognised breeder association and the person intends to breed from the cat or dog;
  6. is a member of a registered show association and the person intends to show/breed from the cat or dog; or
  7. the dog has just moved here from another local government area where it is still currently registered with that authority.

A desexed pet is generally:

  • more content;
  • less aggressive;
  • has fewer health problems; and
  • does not contribute to the production of excess dogs and cats which may later be euthanized.

For more information, refer to the Desexing of Cats and Dogs fact sheet (PDF,863kB).

Financial assistance to desex animals may be available. More information is available here.


Ensure your pet receives adequate exercise and training to reduce boredom. Contact your vet, local pet store or RSPCA for possible solutions for a barking dog.

It is an offence to allow dogs to attack or threaten to attack a person or animal.

Council will investigate all complaints received.

For more information, refer to the Dogs webpage

Number of pets

  • In a house: a maximum of two (2) dogs and two (2) cats.
  • In a unit: a maximum of one (1) dog and one (1) cat.

To keep additional animals, complete an Approval to Keep an Additional Cat or Dog application form for consideration by Council prior to acquiring the pet. For further information, visit the Animal management webpage. 

An application fee is applicable.

For the keeping of other animals please refer to Council’s Local Laws.


If you allow your female cat or dog to breed with the intention to sell or give the litter away, you must make an application with Council.

For further information head to the Breeders permit.

Contact us

For further information, please contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 1300 79 49 29 or email