Responsible Pet Ownership

The responsibilities of dog and cat ownership are established under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

10 essential tips for dog owners

  1. Exercise your dog regularly to avoid problems associated with boredom and anti-social behaviour (and it's good for you too!).
  2. Ensure that your dog is registered, microchipped and wears a collar and tag. The tag must show the name of the dog and the address or telephone number of the owner. The maximum penalty for not having a tag is $550 (or $2,200 for a dangerous or restricted dog). Dogs must be registered after six months of age. Identification (microchipping) is a pre-requisite for registration and is required from 12 weeks of age or at the time of sale if this occurs before 12 weeks of age. On the spot penalties apply for not registering your dog.
  3. Always pick up your dog’s faeces from public places and other private properties and dispose of it properly.
  4. Do not allow your dog to roam at any time.
  5. Train your dog not to bark. 
  6. Avoid dog attacks. Ensure that your dog is friendly and comfortable with other people and animals.
  7. Keep your dog under effective control at all times when in a public place.
  8. Ask your neighbours if your dog creates any nuisance problems and correct them before they occur.
  9. Ensure you choose the correct breed of dog for your circumstances.
  10. Have your dog desexed if you are not a registered breeder.

10 essential tips for cat owners


  1. Ensure your cat wears a collar and a bell.

  2. Do not allow your cat out at night. Cat owners are not required by the Act to keep their animal inside at night. However, we encourage you to do this to protect our native wildlife (and the cat itself). The majority of cat fights and car accidents that involve cats occur at night.

  3. Do not allow your cat to roam. 

  4. Avoid unwanted kittens. Have your cat desexed.

  5. Have new cats registered and microchipped. Cats must be microchipped from 12 weeks of age or at the time of sale and must be registered from 6 months of age.

  6. Do not allow your cat to enter local bushland or to attack native wildlife. Cat owners can take extra steps to protect wildlife by keeping the cat in an enclosure or erecting soft wire fences around those shrubs and trees that attract birds.

  7. Keep your cat healthy and happy.

  8. Avoid nuisance problems caused by boredom.

  9. Ask your neighbours if your cat causes any nuisance problems and correct them before they get worse.

  10. Make sure your really want a cat and are prepared to care for it if you are going to get one.

There are no provisions in New South Wales for councils to declare a curfew on cats, but individual cats can be restricted to their owners' property where the cat has been shown to be causing damage or killing wildlife.

The RSPCA has a very useful website with tips about responsible cat ownership. The RSPCA states the idea that all cats need to roam outdoors has changed; many owners now provide a safe and suitable environment for their cat at home all day, every day.

Animal cruelty

If you suspect a dog or cat is being mistreated, contact an RSPCA inspector on (02) 9770 7555 or 1300 278 3589, or visit the RSPCA website or contact the nearest police station: 

  • Coleambally Police Station: 02 6954 4104
  • Darlington Point Police Station: 02 6968 4144 
  • Jerilderie Police Station: 03 5886 1244