The Companion Animals Act came into effect on 1st July 1999. It is designed to provide protection for dogs and cats and to introduce controls over their behaviour. It also makes owners responsible for their animal's actions.
How do I register my pet ?
To register your dog or cat an application form must be completed and the appropriate fee paid. These forms are available from Council. You may be eligible for a reduced fee if you are a pensioner. For further information contact Kiama Municipal Council or the Companion Animal website.
If your dog is lost or found unleashed in a public place, it can be seized by Council Officers and taken to Council's pound.
Barking dogs are the source of one of the most common complaints received by Council.
It is one of the most difficult issues for Council Rangers to deal with because:
Sometimes stopping a dog from barking can be as simple as taking care of their basic needs. If you are worried that your dog is barking too much:
One thing you should never do is leave your dog on a chain for long periods. This can be the cause of behavioural problems. If you must chain your dog make sure it is on a running wire to allow some free movement and ensure it gets plenty of exercise when you are at Home.
What to do if your dog barks
If your dog continues to bark excessively despite the fact that you have tried all of the suggestions, there are a number of things you can try:
If you are being annoyed by a barking dog:
Barking is simply one way dogs communicate and can mean anything from playfulness to danger. Dogs that bark continuously can be annoying for both you and your neighbours.
Sometimes dogs bark because they are:
It is the responsibility of every dog owner to ensure that they clean up after their dog. The problem of dog faeces on public roads and footpaths and in parks is a constant source of complaint received by Council. Every time it rains, everything (including dog waste) on our roads, footpaths and parks, washes down the stormwater drains and into your local waterways. The high nutrients in dog faeces contribute to toxic algal blooms and aquatic weeds. These algal blooms and weeds can harm the marine organisms that keep our waterways healthy.
What you can do?
Not only does it affect our waterways, but dog droppings contain bacteria which can be harmful to humans. Dog faeces can contain infectious roundworm eggs that can cause serious illness for humans.
Council's rangers can fine owners who don't clean up after their dog. The Companion Animals Act provides for a $220 fine for failure to remove dog faeces.
Kiama Municipal Council has developed a Companion Animal Management Plan to address the issues which arise in our community as a result of companion animals. The plan not only provides for companion animal owners, it also takes into account the rights of people who don't own companion animals. The Kiama Companion Animal Plan is divided into 12 Action Plans:
For more information, or to view the Management Plan, please contact Councils Help and Service Desk on (02) 4232 0444.
Dog ownership can provide many health and social benefits for their owners. It also carries with it an obligation to care for the dog in a responsible fashion, and to ensure that the dog does not cause a nuisance to others. In recognition of the benefits of dog ownership, Council provides a number of areas throughout the parks and reserves system where dogs may be exercised off the leash. Some of these areas have access and time restrictions in respect of off-leash dog exercise so as to allow other park users to also enjoy the facilities.
In general, when using the parks you must always ensure that your dog is under control at all times, does not annoy or attack anybody or other animals, and is kept at least 10 metres away from children's play facilities, BBQs and picnic areas.
Importantly, for health and environmental reasons and out of consideration for other park users, you must always clean up after your dog.
An Off-Leash Area map and information (pdf) is available for those who wish to enjoy some time with their dogs. This Dog Off-Leash Area has the following regulations:
There is no specific policy adopted by Council at this time which prohibits or sets out conditions for the keeping of fowl on domestic premises. There are however, general statutory conditions included in the Local Government Act (1993) which cover the keeping of fowls, and enable Council to control to some degree the conditions under which they are kept, in order to prevent a nuisance or health hazard being caused to neighbours or other residents in the vicinity. A chicken fact sheet is available (pdf 111 KB).
Microchipping and Lifetime Registration is now compulsory.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 introduced new procedures that pet owners must follow when registering their dog. Annual dog registrations with Council ceased on 1 October 2002.
The law now requires you to have your dog microchipped at a vet or animal welfare organisation, and then pay the lifetime registration fee. Council will still process your dog registration, and the information will be put onto a statewide register that can be accessed by all councils in NSW.
For millions of Australians, dogs and cats are part of the family. In NSW around 80,000 dogs and cats are lost, hurt or stolen each year. Most are impounded and are not able to be identified. Because they cannot be reunited with their owners, they might be destroyed.
The permanent identification and lifetime registration scheme greatly assists authorities in returning lost and injured animals to their owners. It provides NSW councils with a more effective means of keeping track of dogs and cats for the benefit of the wider community.
Under the Companion Animals Act all owners of puppies and kittens must take steps to provide lifetime protection for their pet. Together these two steps will help return your pet to you if it is lost, hurt or stolen. Once microchipped and registered, your pet is protected for life.
Some vets and animal welfare organisations offer discount rates, so shop around for the best price on microchipping.
Registration fees help councils provide pound services, rangers, dog refuse bins, and other pet facilities. Lifetime registration can be done at your council. When you register your dog or cat you will need to bring:
Fees apply for lifetime registration.
Responsible pet ownership includes not only proper housing but feeding, control, care and breeding.
From time to time Council conducts cat-trapping campaigns in bushland areas where there is evidence that native wildlife is being threatened by feral cats. For this reason it is important that domestic cats are microchipped and identified with a collar and tag so that if they are trapped they can be returned to their owners.
As many native animals feed from dusk till dawn, it is at this time that they are most vulnerable to attack from roaming cats. To prevent these attacks, all residents are asked to make arrangements to confine their cats inside at night.
Cats that are well cared for and controlled by their owners seldom cause problems to the community. It is the stray and feral cats that we need to target and control. Residents can help by ensuring that their pets are kept separate from stray and feral cats to stop unwanted breeding and prevent the spread of disease.
Never feed stray cats unless you intend to care for it as a pet. Stray cats form a direct link between domestic and feral cats.
When in a public area your dog must be on a leash and under the effective control of a competent person.
Confine your dog to your property and do not allow it to wander onto other people's land.
The owner of a dog that allows the dog to defecate in a public place must immediately remove the faeces and properly dispose of them. Your dog must not enter:
If your dog is lost or found unleashed in a public place, it can be seized by council officers and taken to Council's pound at the Minnamurra Waste & Recycling Centre, Riverside Drive, Minnamurra/Dunmore.
Conditions of use of dog exercise areas:
The following dogs are restricted dogs for the purposes of the Companion Animals Act 1998:
NOTE: for example, dogs used as guard dogs by security personnel could be prescribed as restricted dogs. For further information, please refer to Companion Animals Act 1998.
Last updated: Wednesday 11 November, 2009