Dogs and Cats
Tamworth Regional Council promotes the responsible ownership of pets and companion animals as they are an integral part of our community, culture and society.
Owning a pet is a privilege that comes with a range of responsibilities towards the animals, the community and the environment. We encourage all pet owners to care for their animals in a socially responsible manner with their best welfare in mind.
To ensure that the Companion Animals Act 1998 is understood by the community and complied with, Council have developed a Strategic Companion Animal Management Plan. This plan aims to:
For further information on pet ownership in the Tamworth Region please refer to the following:
- Provide pet owners with the support, education, regulation and facilities they need to properly care for their animals in the community and environment
- Manage issues related to companion animals and pet ownership in the Tamworth Region.
What are my responsibilities as a responsible pet owner?
As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your animal is healthy, safe, well cared for and not a nuisance in the community.
For full details on your responsibilities please refer to the Companion Animals Act 1998.
Your key responsibilities include:
- Always walk your dog on a lead, especially in public places
- Remove your animal’s faeces from public places
- Don’t allow your dog to attack another person or animal
- Ensure that your companion animal is identified by a permanent microchip and register
Companion animals are prohibited from:
- All food preparation and consumption areas including restaurants, cafes and outside eating areas
- Animal wildlife areas such as National Parks and other protected sites
Dog Leash Free Areas
There are several leash free areas in the Tamworth region.
When using a leash free space, owners are reminded to keep control over their dog/s at all times. They should be visible and be able to be controlled by voice command.
Dogs are not allowed in children’s playgrounds and owners can be fined up to $1100 if you allow your dog within 10 metres of play equipment in a public space.
It’s also important to remember to clean up after your dog whenever you’re out in the community. If you don’t remove your dogs’ faeces you may be fined up to $880. Be prepared, carry plastic bags to collect and dispose of droppings when you’re out and about. Bag it, bin it.
To download a map of leash free areas in a locality, click the corresponding links below:
Dog and Cat Microchipping and Registration
Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, all pet owners must provide lifetime protection for their pet by ensuring they are microchipped and registered.
To microchip and register your pet, follow these steps.
In NSW all dogs (including pups) and cats (including kittens), must be identified by permanent microchip by the age of twelve (12) weeks or at point of sale (this also includes giving them away). The cost of microchip implanting is not regulated and you should shop around for the best price. All vets in NSW are authorised to implant microchips.
All dogs and cats must be lifetime registered by six (6) months of age. The registration is a once only payment and covers the life of the animal, when residing in NSW.
Register and pay online at www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au
At one of our Customer Service centres
What are the charges for lifetime registration?
The companion animal registration fees are defined by the Companion Animals Regulation 2018. The registration charges vary and are as follows:
- Dog - Desexed (by relevant age) NOT owned by an eligible pensioner: $66
- Dog - Desexed owned by an eligible pensioner (pensioner concession): $27
- Dog - Desexed sold by pound/shelter: $0
- Dog - Non-desexed or Desexed (after relevant age): $224
- Dog - Non-desexed that is kept by a recognised breeder for breeding purposes: $66
- Cat - Desexed or Not Desexed NOT owned by an eligible pensioner: $56
- Cat - Desexed owned by an eligible pensioner (pensioner concession): $27
- Cat - Desexed sold by pound/shelter: $0
- Cat - Non-desexed that is kept by a recognised breeder for breeding purposes: $56
For a full list of Registration fees visit Microchipping and Registration - Office of Local Government NSW
Are there any exemptions from the lifetime registration requirement?
There are exemptions from the payment of companion animal registration fees. These are for:
- any animal the Director General is satisfied is in the service of a public authority, for example, a police dog
- a working dog
- an assistance animal
What is a working dog under the Companion Animal Act 1998?
A working dog is defined as an animal that:
- is used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock
- resides on land defined and rated as farmland under the Local Government Act 1993
- a hunting dog is not defined as a working dog under this legislation
How do I get more information about microchipping and registration?
We have made some changes to the way we operate in line with COVID-19 measures around ‘social distancing’.
Our open hours remain the same but our gates are locked and we have a doorbell which members of the public should press when they need to pick up or drop off an animal.
Anyone who sees a dog or cat on our Facebook page they would like to rehome is asked to call the pound on 6767 5501 and arrange an appointment with our staff.
The Tamworth Regional Council Pound is located 1 Belmore Street. The facility holds a variety of cats and dogs that are homeless, lost or abandoned.
All animals kept at the pound are done so in accordance with the requirements of the Companion Animals Act 1998.
When is the pound open?
- Monday to Friday – 8:00am to 11:00am and 3:00pm to 4:30pm
- Note: Feral cats can only be accepted at the pound from 9:00am until 11:00am, Monday to Friday
- Closed Saturday, Sunday and public holidays
The Pound will accept stray animals and release animals to their owners during the opening times.
What do I have to pay to have my animal released from the Pound?
If you wish to have your animal released from the pound, you must pay all fees and ensure registration requirements are complete.
Fees are payable when you collect your animal from the pound. For current release fees and sustenance fees for cats, dogs, cattle, sheep and horses, please click here and search 'animals'.
Are there further charges resulting from my animal being at the Pound?
If your dog is seized by Council Rangers in a public place by Council Rangers, you may be issued with an infringement. A Nuisance Order may be issued for two or more animal seizures.
Please refer to Animal Complaints for further information.
Does the Pound offer any other services to the community?
You are able to buy companion animals from the pound. Please refer to Council's Fees and Charges for current fees.
What does it mean ‘to surrender a cat or dog to the Pound’?
Surrendering your cat or dog to the Pound means that you are giving up the ownership of your animal to the Council. The animal will be euthanased or kept for a period of 7 days for rehousing.
This service is available for a fee if you’re a resident of the Tamworth Regional Council are. Please refer to Council's Fees and Charges for the current fees.
If you decided to surrender your animal to the Pound, please understand the following:
- You must sign a form stating that you are the owner of the animal and that you’re surrendering them to the council.
- If you are wishing to rehouse your animal, please check with your local vets and animal welfare agencies for possible new owners.
- Animals are only rehoused through the pound to people requesting such an animal.
- Council officers will not collect any animal from a person’s property for euthanasia.
- If you wish to surrender an animal, you must arrive at the Pound between 8:00am and 10:00am, Monday to Friday. Surrendered animals will not be accepted at any other time.
What do I do if my animal has gone missing?
If you have lost your pet, please contact the Council Pound by phoning (02) 6767 5555. We will require the following information:
- A description of your animal, such as breed, colour, sex and age
- Microchip details
- The location of where the animal was last seen
- Your name, address and contact number
All information provided by you will be placed in the lost animal register at the pound.
Please Note: It is important to microchip and register your animal, as all animals taken to the pound are scanned for a microchip. Microchips contain the owner’s residential details and allow the speedy return of your animal.
If you are experiencing an issue in regard to an animal in your neighbourhood you can either:
- Try to solve the problem by talking it over with the pet’s owner. They may not realise that their animal is causing a problem.
- Contact Council to make a complaint
How do I make a complaint about an animal in my area
Council's MyTRC app is a great way to report issues such as barking dogs and lost animals. It works on your Apple iPhone or Android smartphone.
For more urgent issues including roaming animals, dangerous animals / animal attacks, found animals, as well as barking dogs and lost animals, please contact Council directly. You should have the following information ready:
- The address of where the dog resides
- A description of the dog
- Details of the complaint. E.g. nuisance barking
- Your name, address and a contact number for Council Rangers to contact you
What can I do about barking dog?
We receive on average 500 complaints each year about barking dogs. If you have an issue with a barking dog in your neighbourhood, there are the following options:
- Try to approaching the owner first and advise them of the problem. They may not be aware that their dog is barking. Here is a barking dog courtesy letter (PDF 78.8KB) that can be used.
- Seek the assistance of the Community Justice Centre (CJC) to mediate a solution. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777 or if you have a hearing impairment on 1800 671 964 (TTY) or www.cjc.nsw.gov.au
- Contact Council and lodge a formal complaint regarding the barking
What happens when I make a formal complaint to Council about a dog that continuously barks?
- When a formal complaint is received, the owner of the animal will be contacted as part of Council’s investigation.
- A four (4) week period will then be given for the owners to take action to settle the dog from barking
- Complaints received after this four (4) week period, will result in further investigation by the Rangers in the form of a door knock to determine the extent of the barking
- If the door knock investigation demonstrates that the dog is continuing to bark excessively, a Nuisance Order under the Companion Animals Act 1998 may be issued to the owner
- If a Nuisance Order is issued, all residents who had agreed that the dog/s bark excessively will receive a barking dog diary, to record the extent of the barking problem on an ongoing basis
- For Council to take further action there needs to be conclusive evidence that the dog does bark excessively. This evidence is gathered via two diaries from two separate residents that demonstrates a continuous pattern of excessive barking
- These types of cases are often dealt with in a court of law. Residents who decide to complete the diaries must be prepared to attend court to give evidence.
What can I do about roaming dogs in my area?
Council’s procedure for dealing with roaming dogs is to:
- Speak with the owner and advise them of the legislative requirement for a dog in a public place to be on a lead or restraint. A second complaint will result in further investigation of the surrounding neighbourhood. This may result in a Nuisance Order being issued to the owner to cease the dog from being habitually at large (roaming)
- Council Rangers will conduct regular patrols of the area
- If a Ranger sights a roaming dog during a patrol, the animal may be seized and taken to the council dog pound. Infringements may also be issued to the owner of the animal.
What is meant by a “dog attack”?
The Companion Animal Act 1998 defines a dog attack as being a situation where:
- “a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal”
The following actions may be taken in regard to a dog attack:
- Any dog that has been deemed to have attacked may result in a Nuisance Order or Dangerous Declaration being issued to the owner
- The owner of the dog may also incur an on-the-spot fine
- All dog attacks are investigated and statements are required from the complainants, this will determine the action to be taken against the owner
How do I get further information?
For further information regarding animal complaints please contact Council.