As a dog owner you have certain responsibilities under the law. These laws and regulations govern the way we keep dogs and cats and are in force to ensure correct identification of companion animals and to provide protection for the animal, owner and broader community.
For a full copy of the legislation see Companion Animals Act 1998.
Collar and tag
Dogs are required to wear a collar and tag on public land - the tag should include your pet's name and your contact number. You could be fined up to $180 for non compliance.
Dogs must be on a lead (unless in an off leash area) in public or you could receive an on the spot fines of $330. City of Parramatta has a number of parks where dogs can be walked off leash. Whilst using an off leash are a dog owner must still have effective control over their dog and prevent it from attacking and harassing other park users and their dogs.
For a full list of off-leash parks, go to the Off-Leash Areas page.
Clean up after your dog
You must immediately clean up after your dog in public places and dispose of the waste properly. You could receive an on the spot fines of $275 for failure to clean up after your dog.
Your dog is prohibited from schools, within 10 meters of playgrounds, within 10 metres of food consumption and preparation areas, wildlife protection areas, public bathing areas, child care centres, shopping centres and some recreation areas where signposted.
Of all the nuisance behaviour reported and investigated by Council the most common complaint we get is barking dogs. Barking is a form of communication for dogs however excessive barking is not normal. It may indicate an underlying issue when a dog is chained, provoked, under exercised, untrained, lonely, sick, hungry, thirsty, neglected, kept in unsuitable circumstances or abused.
Dogs can be declared a nuisance if they:
- are habitually at large
- make a noise, by barking or otherwise, 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 premises
- repeatedly defecate on property (other than a public place) outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept
- repeatedly run at or chases any person, animal or vehicle
- endanger the health of any person or animal
- repeatedly cause substantial damage to anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept
If your dog exhibits any of these behaviours a nuisance order can be placed on your pet which remains in force for six months. A breach of an order may result in an on the spot penalty of $275. Furthermore continued breaches can lead to prosecution in court and an order to remove the animal from the property in which it is normally kept.
If you are having trouble with a dog in your area talk to the dog's owner first. Often an owner is unaware of their pets' behaviour.
If you have talked to the dog owner and still cannot resolve the issue, call Community Justice Centres on 1800 990777. They can help to settle disputes and act as an impartial mediator between you and the dog owner.
If that does not resolve the issue, you'll need to complete a nuisance barking incident sheet and request City of Parramatta investigate and get the matter investigated by an Animal Management Officer. An officer will attend the dog owners' address and discuss the issue with them. Information on the barking dog is used to let them know the times of the nuisance barking to help take appropriate steps. We also monitor the dog if the barking does not cease soon after the dog owner has been advised. Please note that you may be required to give a statement and attend court if a nuisance order is placed on a dog after an investigation is completed.
If you feel a dog is distressed because it is being abused or mistreated contact:
201 Rookwood Road
Yagoona NSW 2199
p: 9770 7555
If your dog is barking
If you have received notice that your dog has been nuisance barking there are a range of things you can do:
- assess the situation - you need to change your lifestyle or think about re-homing your dog
- investigate – do the things you normally would but quietly return home so your dog is unaware of your presence
- speak to your neighbours and ask them to let you know when the barking occurs and if there are any triggers
- hire a dog behaviouralist to determine the cause of the barking
- remove direct line of site if you know what is provoking your dog
- take your pet to a vet – it may be sick or suffering from anxiety issues
- give your pet interactive toys to play with and/or a large meaty bone
- try a citronella collars that can be hired or purchased
- walk your dog more often or employ a dog walker or a pet minding service
- ensure your dog has adequate water and food and is sheltered from heat and cold
- tether your dog on a runner that is a taut cable fixed between two points - make sure your dog can still sit, lie down and reach its water and shelter but not the boundary fence as it may choke itself by jumping the fence. This helps prevent boredom and will not get tangled up by a chain
Restricted and dangerous dogs
There are strict control requirements for dangerous and restricted dogs and penalties apply for owners who fail to comply.
If you believe you have seen a restricted dog breed please report the dog to Councils Animal Management Team for investigation. If you think you are the owner of a restricted breed of dog call the Animal Management Team on 9806 5000 and we will advise on how you can comply with the requirements to avoid being penalised.
The following dogs are considered "restricted dogs" under the Companion Animals Act 1998:
- American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
- Japanese tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Brasileiro
- 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 a council to be a restricted dog
- any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by state regulations
A dog may be declared dangerous if it:
- 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)
- is kept or used for the purposes of hunting
You must not allow your dog to rush at, chase, harass or attack any person or animal. These offences are considered to be a dog attack and very serious.
Hefty on the spot fines or prosecution in Parramatta Local Court may be taken against you if your dog is involved in an attack on a person or animal.
Call City of Parramatta immediately on 9806 5050 if you have been involved in an attack - dog attacks can be reported and if necessary, attended to 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
The warmer months of the year are an active time for all. The birds have their young, reptiles emerge from hibernation and people get out and about in their local parks and reserves. It is at this time that your dog is most likely to encounter a snake.
The best way to protect dogs from being bitten by a snake is to restrain them from foraging through the bushy sections of the reserves. Dogs are instinctive hunters and the only defence a snake has from being mauled by a dog is to strike out and bite the attacking dog. Dogs have the potential to maul other animals as well including blue tongue lizards, ground nesting birds, native mammals and frogs. This is another good reason to keep them away from the bushland.
If your pet does get bitten by a snake, the first aid response is to keep it calm and stop it from moving around, apply a pressure bandage if the bite is on a limb and take it as quickly as possible to a vet that supplies antivenom.
Symptoms in a dog from snake bite can include:
- red coloured urine
- grogginess/loss of co-ordination
- reduced use of the back legs
- gasping for breath
If any of these signs become apparent your dog may require urgent veterinary assistance. If you have a snake in your yard or property, leave it alone and keep your pets away from it.
Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services
p: 9413 4300
NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES)
p: 1300 WIRES (1300 094 737)
For further information contact your local vet.