Domestic Cats and Dogs
Ask the local Council what are the most common issues that ratepayers contact them about, and you will usually find straying domestic animals, especially dog attacks on livestock included.
Companion Animals Act 1998
Many of us own a cat or a dog and we think of it as a family member. But each year thousands of cats and dogs are dumped or end up in animal shelters and, because there are not enough homes, 80,000 cats and dogs are put to death each year. This new Act is about the welfare of animals, their owners, the community and the environment. There will be a system of permanent identification (by microchip) for animals and lifetime registration, so a lost animal can always be returned home. We will also be encouraged to desex our cats and dogs, to make sure the fewer puppies and kittens born have good homes waiting for them.
Things to Consider before Buying a Dog or Cat
Cats and dogs don’t just need feeding - even a “free to good home” animal needs regular vaccinations, desexing and lifetime identification registration. As our dog or cat gets older, vet's bills become more frequent and expensive.
Who will look after our cat or dog when we go on holidays? What breed of dog or cat will most suit our lifestyle? Is where we live a suitable area for having a companion animal?
We must have our dog under effective control at all times when off our property. It must be on a lead unless we take it to a specified off-leash area. It must be well socialised and trained so it isn’t aggressive and doesn’t bark continually. If our dog is a nuisance, we have to take action to control it. We must never train a dog to attack. We must always pick up our dog’s droppings in any public place.
From 1 July 1999, we must permanently identify and register any puppy or new dog.
If our cat causes a nuisance to neighbours, through noise or by attack on animals, we must act to control the action causing the nuisance. Stray cats that attack animals on someone else’s property may be removed.
From 1 July 1999, all new cats or kittens must be permanently identified and lifetime registered. All cat owners must identify their cat either by collar and tag or by microchip.
Microchipping & Lifetime Registration
Permanent identification will be through having a rice-sized microchip placed by injection under the skin in an animal’s neck. The chip is inert and does not interfere with the animal.
Each chip contains a unique number which links the animal to the owner’s details, kept on a State-wide register. Privacy controls will ensure the confidentiality of an owner’s details and limit access to lawful purposes.
Lifetime registration should be completed by the time the animal is 6 months old. This allows sufficient time to have pets microchipped and desexed should you wish to obtain cheaper registration.
For more information, see:
The Companion Animals Act 1998 and How It Impacts a Rural Area
Domestic Dogs and Cats Info Sheet on the Molonglo Catchment Group website
Companion Animals information on the NSW Office of Local Government website.