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Responsible animal ownership

As a responsible animal owner you need to:

  • choose the right pet for you and your lifestyle
  • feed and water them
  • provide them with a suitable environment or shelter
  • organise health checks and exercise
  • microchip and register pets with Council
  • identify livestock with a PIC
  • restrict animals to your property
  • keep dogs on a leash in public
  • clean up after your dog
  • control your barking dog

Our job is to help residents to manage their animals so they do not create a risk or nuisance to other people and their animals. Find out about getting help with nuisance animals.

Registration and microchipping

Your cat or dog should wear a collar with the registration tag attached.

Animal health and welfare

Protecting your pets from heat stroke

Dogs and cats are vulnerable to heat stroke because their furry bodies cannot sweat to dissipate heat. When they can't cool themselves, their core temperature rises rapidly. This can lead to serious and sometimes fatal complications. If you think your animal is suffering heat stroke, contact your vet.

To avoid pet heat stroke:

  • make sure pets have plenty of water
  • never leave pets in cars or on the back of utes — let them out with you or leave them at home
  • plan walks for early morning or late evening
  • help pets to find shade (especially pets in cages such as guinea pigs)

Animal welfare in emergencies

Find out what to do for your pets and livestock when preparing their family or farm emergency plan.

Wandering animals

It is your responsibility to keep your pet or animal secure. Wandering pets might be impounded.

Barking dogs

It is your responsibility to take action to control your barking dog:

  • ensure your dog has a big enough yard to roam
  • don’t let the dog inside or give it attention when it barks — this is rewarding your dog for barking
  • give the dog attention when it is quiet
  • move the dog to another part of the yard, if the dog is barking at people or noises on the other side of a fence
  • keep the dog inside or in an enclosed area at times when the dog barks such as children walking to school or rubbish trucks
  • put barriers or obstacles in the dog’s way if it races along a path or fence barking at passing distractions
  • ensure that the dog has adequate exercise
  • make sure that the dog has food, water and shelter from the weather
  • consult your veterinarian to establish if the barking may be caused by a medical condition
  • provide toys to alleviate boredom
  • attend accredited dog obedience training
  • get help from Bark Busters 1800 067 710

Expectations of dog owners in public places

Not everyone loves your dog as much as you. People have the right not to be harassed, rushed or attacked by a dog.

If you take your dog to a public place, you must abide by the rules and comply with signage. Some areas are strictly dog-on-lead. However, where dogs are permitted off-lead, Council encourages you to keep your dog on a lead in a public place. This is the safest and easiest way of controlling your dog.

If you want to take your dog off-lead in a public place where permitted, you must have control over your dog and ensure your dog:

  • responds to recall commands and returns to the owner/person in charge upon verbal command or hand signal
  • does not interfere with other users of public places or ball play
  • will not approach other users unsolicited within 2 metres
  • does not menace, rush or attack another person or animal, including wildlife

Cleaning up your Dog’s Excrement

If you take your dog for a walk in a public place or on a road, you must bring a plastic bag ready to pick up your dog’s poo.

Cat curfew

On Wednesday 16 October 2019, Council will introduced a cat curfew.

The order means residents of Mitchell Shire must ensure that their cats are confined to their property overnight between the hours of sunset and sunrise.

If your cat is registered and microchipped, we can re-unite you if your cat is caught.

More information is available in Council’s Domestic Animal Management Plan.

Desexing your Pets

If you aren’t going to breed from your cat or dog please have them desexed.

As well as helping to prevent overpopulation, there are many benefits of desexing cats and dogs. Desexed cats can be better behaved, they may be less likely to roam, yowl at night or spray strong smelling urine. It is also important to desex a female cat kept inside as they can continue to cycle if they are not mated with, which can cause health problems for the cat.

Desexed dogs can be better behaved and less likely to try and escape.

Desexing pets can also prevent them from getting certain types of cancer. In general dogs can safely be desexed from 3 months of age. Talk to your vet about the best age to desex your dog or cat.

Registration fees are greatly reduced for cats and dogs that are desexed.

Disposing of Dead Animals

If an animal in your care dies, you must ensure that it is humanely removed or buried in a timely manner without creating an environmental hazard.

This page was last updated on 1 June 2022.