Companion Animals

1. Overview

Parkes Shire Council is responsible for administering and enforcing the Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Companion Animals Regulation 2008, which provide for the identification and registration of dogs and cats, how they are managed, and the duties and responsibilities of their owners in the area.

Council is responsible for updating the registration information on the NSW Companion Animals Register.

Council provides pet friendly areas and tips for enjoying the outdoors with your companion animal. Click here for more details.

2. Identification and registration

All cats and dogs must be registered before six months of age under the Companion Animals Act 1998. The registration is valid for the animal's life, regardless of ownership changes. Registration can be made at Council's Administration Centre or online at Service NSW. When registering a pet, a copy of the microchip form and evidence of sterilisation, if desexed, should be provided. Penalties apply for failure to register a pet aged 6 months or older.

Changes to the details of your existing animal registration can be made at the NSW Pet Registry or at Council's Administrative Centre within 14 days of the change.

To determine the cost of registering a dog/cat, access the 2023/24 Fees and Charges(PDF, 1MB).

For more information about registration or to report stray dogs, contact the Planning & Environment Department on (02) 6861 2373.

3. Barking Dogs

Parkes Shire Council recognises barking dogs can be a noise nuisance for surrounding neighbours. Council suggests the following actions can be taken to make life better for dogs, dog owners and neighbours.

If you are being disturbed by a barking dog, contact the dog owner first, as they may be unaware of the issue. In most circumstances the owners want to do the right thing and will cooperate.

If this is unsuccessful, please contact Council's Planning and Environment Department on (02) 6861 2373. During this stage you will also be required to provide evidence for your complaint such as:

  • Obtaining written statements from neighbours explaining ways in which the dog is disturbing them
  • Keeping a diary of when the noise occurs

Once you have provided sufficient evidence, Council's Ranger will investigate the problem and take appropriate action.

For more information on neighbourhood disturbances visit the NSW EPA website.

4. Seizure of dogs

Council's Rangers may seize stray dogs which will be delivered to Council's Animal Shelter.

Cats are not restricted from roaming under the Companion Animals Act and there is no power in the legislation to seize cats.

Any person (including Council's Rangers) can seize a dog that is in a public place and is not under the effective control of a competent person. Should the owner of the dog be present only a Ranger may seize the animal should the owner not comply with the above requirement.

Any dog which is seized by a member of the public is required to return the animal to its owner (if the owner is known) or deliver the animal to the Council Animal Shelter. Any person who seizes a dog and does not return it to its owner or notify Council is guilty of an offence for which a fine may be issued.

Council staff will not respond to calls to collect dogs or cats seized by members of the public. Should you choose to seize a dog it is your responsibility comply with the Companion Animals Act by returning it to its owner or deliver the animal to Council's Animal Shelter and contact Council to give details of the seizure.  Council's Animal Shelter is located at 56 Saleyards Road, Parkes, NSW, 2870.

Animals seized or delivered to Councils are held for the following statutory periods before being destroyed if they are not released or are unable to be rehomed:

  • Registered dogs - 14 days
  • Unregistered dogs - 7 days
  • Stock - 7 days then held at the discretion of Council

Parkes Animal Shelter is generally open between the hours of 9.00-10.00am weekdays.

All impounded dogs and cats are required to be registered before release by the Companion Animals Act. The current release fees for impounded cats and dogs are:

  • First Offence $27.70
  • 2nd Offence $46.10
  • 3rd & Subsequent $102.50
  • Sustenance per day $13.00
  • Microchipping fee $74.80

After payment of fees, release of animals will occur by arrangement from 9.00-10.00am and 4.00-4.30pm weekdays.

For enquiries on whether your animal is at Council's Animal Shelter, please contact Council on 02 6861 2373.

5. Assistance animals

Some companion animals are trained to provide assistance to people with a disability to help alleviate the effect of that disability. These assistance animals are not pets. They provide an important service that helps people to more fully participate in personal and public life activities with more confidence and independence.

An assistance animal in NSW is a dog or other animal that is either:

  • Accredited under a law of a State or Territory that provides for the accreditation of animals trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability; OR
  • Accredited by an animal training organisation prescribed by the Commonwealth; OR
  • Trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability, and, to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.

Like all other companion animals, assistance animals need to be micro-chipped and registered in NSW. However, no fee is charged for registering assistance animals. Registration lasts for the life of each animal. If you change address, your animal goes missing or your animal dies, please notify your local council. It is also strongly recommended that assistance animals are vaccinated and de-sexed. Do not train a restricted or dangerous dog as an assistance animal.

Once the animal has been microchipped by a vet or authorised identifier, the owner should contact their local council to apply for a no fee registration.

Councils are entitled to request reasonable proof that your animal is a genuine assistance animal. This means proof:

  • That you have a disability;
  • That your animal has been trained to alleviate the effect of the disability; and
  • That your animal is trained to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place (behaviour testing).

Importantly, a person with a disability has the right to train their own assistance animal so long as he or she can provide proof that that training means the animal meets the definition of an assistance animal. Registration as an assistance animal under the Companion Animals Act 1998 does not necessarily provide proof the animal is an assistance animal for the purposes of entering a public place or public transport.

Entering public places

In general, animals are prohibited from entering certain public areas. However, a person with a disability is entitled to be accompanied by an assistance animal in public places and on public transport while he or she is genuinely using the animal for assistance. Entry cannot be refused without reasonable cause.

An animal does not need to be registered as an assistance animal under the Companion Animals Act 1998 to be permitted access to a public place or public transport. Staff in charge of access to public places and transport are entitled to request reasonable proof that your animal is a genuine assistance animal. They may be guided by their organisation's own policy to help them determine this. Their policies may be publicly available.

It is unlawful to impose a charge on a person to enter a place open to, or used by the public, only because the person is accompanied by an assistance animal unless:

It is reasonably necessary to supply additional accommodation for the animal and a reasonable charge is applied for that accommodation; OR

The owner, or person in charge of the place reasonably incurs additional expense because the animal is present, the charge is reasonable in the circumstances and is charged to compensate for the expense.

Using public transport

For more information about access to public transport for assistance animals contact Transport NSW on 131 500 and apply for a permit.

Information Source - NSW Office of Local Government

6. Animal neglect and cruelty

Council Rangers have no powers under the legislation and cannot check, investigate or take action in relation to neglect or cruelty.

Animal Neglect and Cruelty is dealt with by the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 which gives powers to the NSW Police Force, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the Animal Welfare League. The Animal Welfare League do not operate outside the coastal metropolitan area.

To ensure that timely and appropriate action is taken in relation to this type of circumstance please contact an appropriate authority directly. In the Parkes Shire this will be:

  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) - 1300 278 358
  • NSW Police Force - 13 1444
  • Parkes Animal Shelter

7. Responsible Pet Ownership Guide

For more information download the Responsible Pet Ownership Brochure.