Cats and dogs
Conditions for keeping regulated dogs
Owners of regulated dogs (restricted, dangerous and menacing) are subject to additional conditions to ensure public safety. The conditions are set in the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 and enforced by Council. Failing to comply with these conditions may result in enforcement action being taken against you.
The conditions include:
- dogs must be microchipped
- dogs must wear a distinctive collar and meet specific requirements:
- yellow and red striped with a yellow identification tag
- each stripe must be 25 millimetres wide and set diagonal to the rim of the collar at an angle of 45 degrees
- at least one of the colours must be sufficiently reflective to be visible in low light
- be made of durable materials
- be able to be securely fastened to the dog
- dogs must wear a specific approved identification tag at all times
- dogs must be kept in a prescribed enclosure
- properties must display an approved prescribed sign
- dogs must be muzzled in public (dangerous and restricted) and be under effective control
- dangerous and restricted dogs must be desexed
- specific fencing requirements are imposed and are determined on the weight and height of the dog
- owners of a regulated dog must hold/apply for a permit to keep the animal
- owners must pay a yearly registration and permit fee.
Registration fees for regulated animals are higher than those of normal pets. The higher registration fee covers the costs incurred by Council to ensure conditions of the declaration are met.
Enclosure requirements for regulated dogs
A dog that was declared dangerous by a Council under a local law before 1 July 2009 must continue to be kept in an enclosure which meets the requirements of the local law until the dog dies or is moved to a new residence.
The following enclosure requirements apply to all other regulated dogs or for a dog declared as dangerous under a local law before 1 July 2009 that is moved to another residence.
General enclosure requirements
The dog must, unless there is a reasonable excuse, be usually kept in the enclosure. The enclosure must:
- be childproof
- stop the dog from leaving the enclosure.
The enclosure and the area enclosed must also comply with the specific requirements outlined in the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008.
Public access to the front of a house
The enclosure must not be built or situated in a way that requires a member of the public seeking access to the front entrance of a dwelling to go into the enclosed area.
Minimum enclosed area
The area enclosed must be at least 10 square metres. The enclosed area must not include any area that is:
- a swimming pool or area surrounding a swimming pool
- all or part of a building usually used for residential purposes.
The walls of the enclosure must be:
- at least 1 m high before ground level (if the dog is 8 kg or less)
- at least 1.8 m high above ground level (if the dog is more than 8 kg).
The weight of the dog is based on its weight at the time it was declared. There may be some leeway in this determination – enquiries should be directed to Council as they are responsible for ensuring compliance with the legislation.
Standard for enclosure materials
The enclosure must consist of firm and strong materials.
The exterior of the walls of the enclosure must be designed to prevent a child from climbing into the enclosure. The walls may include a perimeter fence for the relevant place or an exterior wall of a structure if it complies with the other enclosure requirements listed here.
Weatherproof area required
The enclosure must include a weatherproof area appropriate for a dog.
The enclosure must include a gate and must not have a driveway gate or other vehicle entry gate.
The enclosure gate must:
- be childproof, self-closing and self-latching
- comply with the other enclosure requirements.
The enclosure may have another gate that is not self-closing and self-latching if it:
- is not a vehicle gate
- complies with the requirements for ‘enclosure walls’ listed above
- is kept securely locked whenever it is not in immediate use.