Pet laws

When taking your dog out for a walk, you must ensure your pet is under effective control and securely held on a lead by a competent person.

Off-lead areas

There are many off-lead areas located in Lake Macquarie where you can let your dog run free, however it must be under constant supervision. Even when on a lead, dogs are prohibited in the following areas:

Nuisance dogs and cats

Our City Rangers patrol all areas of Lake Macquarie and investigate over 3,000 complaints in relation to pets each year.

Nuisance dogs

According to The Companion Animals Act 1998, a nuisance dog falls into one or more of the following categories:

Barking dogs

Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs, and it is just one way in which they communicate. However, we understand in some cases barking dogs may become a neighbourhood nuisance impacting on the amenity of the area. If a barking dog affects you, we recommend the following actions:

Contact the owner of the dog directly to discuss your concerns

The owner may not realise their dog is bothering you or others in the area, and in many cases will be happy to work with you to solve the problem. Discussing it with them first and advising them of when the barking is a problem could help them to find a way to address it. If you feel the dog’s owner is unapproachable or you are uncomfortable doing so, a polite letter in their letterbox might help.

Contact the Community Justice Centre (CJC)

If the problem persists or your neighbour is unwilling to discuss the matter then you may contact the Community Justice Centre. The CJC provides free mediation to help people resolve disputes without going to court and has a high success rate. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777.

Request a Noise Abatement Order

Alternatively, you can apply to the local court for a Noise Abatement Order. If the court is satisfied that the dog is causing an offensive noise, or that the noise is likely to recur, it may order the owner to stop the noise within a specified time or prevent a recurrence.

Nuisance cats

According to the Companion Animals Act 1998, a nuisance cat falls into one of more the following categories:

If a nuisance cat affects you, we recommend the following actions:

Contact the owner of the cat directly to discuss your concerns

The owner may not realise their cat is bothering you or others in the area, and in many cases will be happy to work with you to solve the problem. Discussing it with them first could help them to find a way to address it. If you feel the cat’s owner is unapproachable or you are uncomfortable doing so, a polite letter in their letterbox might help.

Contact the Community Justice Centre (CJC)

If the problem persists or your neighbour is unwilling to discuss the matter then you may contact the Community Justice Centre. The CJC provides free mediation to help people resolve disputes without going to court and has a high success rate. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777.

Request a Nuisance Order

Alternatively, you can apply to the local court for a Nuisance Order. The order requires the cat's owner to prevent the behaviour specified in the order.

Reporting nuisance dogs and cats

For more information about nuisance dogs and cats, including how to report them to Council, please see nuisance dogs and cats.

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Page last updated: 22 February 2017