Pet ownership

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. This is no different for the Cowra Shire. Pets are a part of your family and as such Council wants to ensure that they are safe, well cared for and do not become a problem to the community.

Please explore the FAQ’s below to find out more information about pet ownership in the Cowra Shire. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are my responsibilities as a pet owner?

To ensure the comfort, safety and health of the whole of the community, the law places certain responsibilities on all pet owners. These are summarised below:

  • If your dog is in a public place, it must be under the effective control of a competent person, by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash.
  • If your dog is being exercised in an approved leash free area, it must always be under effective control of a competent person.
  • You are not permitted to walk more than four dogs at any one time in an on-leash area or an off-leash area.
  • Greyhounds must be muzzled at all times when in a public place, except if the greyhound has successfully completed an approved greyhound re-training program and the greyhound wears an approved collar when it is in a public place.
  • If your dog defecates in a public place, it is an offence not to remove the faeces.
  • Dogs are prohibited in childrens play areas, food preparation / consumption areas, recreation areas, public bathing areas, school grounds, child care centres, shopping areas and wildlife protection areas. 

What are the benefits of desexing my pet?

Dogs and cats can reproduce several times a year as early as 5 months of age and this can cause overpopulation of dogs and cats. Here are some reasons why you should always have your pet de-sexed:

  • It prevents large numbers of unwanted puppies or kittens.
  • Pets live longer and have healthier lives.
  • It reduces the risk of your pet getting cancer and other diseases.
  • It reduces territorial behaviour.
  • It reduces your pet’s likelihood of developing aggressive tendencies towards people and other animals.
  • Your pets are less likely to wander.
  • You will save money when you register your pet.

Are there any leash free areas in Cowra?

There are 2 areas in Cowra where you can take your dog for exercise without having to use a leash. These areas include:

  • Sakura Avenue
  • Lachlan River Precinct

I want to report a dog attack. What is the process?

A dog attack can include any incident 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.

By law, Council is required to report dog attacks in their area to the Division of Local Government and undertake an investigation of the matter.

To ensure the safety of the community, immediately report any dog attack incidents to Cowra Ranger Services on (02) 6340 2052.

Please be aware of the following when your dog is in a public place:

  • Your dog must wear a collar around it's neck with a tag attached that shows the dog's name and address or phone number of the dog's owner. 
  • Your dog must be under effective control of a competent person by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash at all times (although no leash is required in a leash free area). Failure to do so means that you are committing an offence and on the spot fines may apply.
  • If your dog is or has been declared dangerous or restricted, it must be muzzled and under the effective control of a competent person over the age of 18 years old by means of an adequate chain, cord or leash that is attached to the dog and held by the person. 

How do I deal with a barking dog?

A dog could be barking for a number of reasons, including:

  • Loneliness
  • Illness
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being kept in a small space
  • Mistreatment
  • Provocation
  • Hunger or thirst.

If you have a complaint about a dog barking continuously, Council suggests that you approach the owner of the dog as they may not be aware that their dog is causing a noise nuisance in the neighbourhood. If you are unable to talk to the owner, it is suggested that you keep a 7 day diary detailing the time and frequency of the dog barking and provide this to Council at your convenience. The diary entries will help the Cowra Ranger Services with its investigation. Council will also advise the dog owner in writing that their dog is causing a noise nuisance in the neighbourhood.

If the complaint is proven and continues to be a problem, a Nuisance Order may be served on the owner of the dog. The Nuisance Order is in place for 6 months. Failure to comply with the order can result in penalties being issued.