Keeping dogs & cats
For many Australians, a pet is an important part of the family. While owning a pet can be extremely rewarding, it is important to remember that pet ownership is also a huge responsibility. As a pet owner, you will be committed to providing all the requirements for your pet – food, exercise, housing, grooming and veterinary care. It is absolutely essential to thoroughly research the basics of pet care before acquiring any new pet to ensure you have the capacity to meet the physiological, behavioural and social needs of the animal.
RSPCA Australia recommends that you take the time to research the species or breed/crossbreed you are purchasing well before bringing them home, so that you are positive your choice of pet will be appropriate for your lifestyle and you are well prepared for their arrival.
The following information is provided by the RSPCA.
Purchasing a pet should never be an impulsive decision. Before you make the decision to become a pet owner ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I prepared to care for a pet for its whole life?
- Can I afford a pet?
- Do I understand how to care for a pet?
- Do I have time to care for a pet?
- Do I live in suitable accommodation with adequate space for a pet?
- Will a pet fit into my lifestyle and priorities?
Keeping a dog is a big responsibility and you need to consider the following before becoming a dog owner:
- Security of fencing
- Exercise and play
- Bathing and grooming
- Veterinary care
The Yass Valley is a wonderful mix of residential, rural residential and farming areas. As a result, it is not uncommon to see livestock on the outskirts of the town centres. Yass Valley experiences a number of dog attacks on stock each year. Attacks on livestock (including poultry) are distressing, impact financially on landholders and also affect those who own the stock.
Many of these animals are as much loved family pets as the dogs that are responsible for the attacks. It is very important to ensure that the fences on your property are sufficient to contain your dogs. Fences on many rural residential properties have been built to contain stock, not dogs. Prevention of escape is the best means of preventing a dog attack.
For more detailed information on caring for your dog, visit the RSPCA website.
We encourage responsible pet ownership and recommend cat owners take the following steps to ensure their cat has a minimal impact on its surroundings and environment.
- Ensure that your cat is microchipped and registered. Put a collar and identification tag on your cat.
- Desex your cat at an early age. If your cat is desexed by 4 months of age – no annual permit is required. There is an only a once of lifetime registration fee. You will also not have to worry about unwanted kittens and it reduces the chances of having a non desexed male cat hanging around marking his territory and yowling at inconvenient hours. Desexing male cats at an early age will reduce involvement in cat fights and the tendency of your cat to wander looking for a female.
- Keeping cats contained means they are less likely to be lost or injured, or catch diseases such as FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).
- Keep your cat indoors at night. Cats tend to cause the most damage to the environment during the night when they can hunt under the cover of darkness. Remember cats are natural hunters so by keeping them in at night it greatly reduces their urge to hunt.
- Ensure your cat has adequate food, water and shelter at all times.
In NSW, a restricted dog is one of the following:
- American Pitbull terrier or Pitbull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dog)
- Fla Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog)
- Any other dog of a breed, kind or description, whose importation into Australia is prohibited by, or under, the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth (Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario)
- Any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council, under division 6 of the Companion Animals Act 1998, to be a restricted dog.
If you own a restricted dog and it attacks or injures a person or an animal (other than vermin) without being provoked, you must report it to Council within 24 hours of the attack or injury.
For more information on the following, please visit the Office of Local Government website:
- Control measures for restricted dogs.
- Penalties relating to restricted dogs.
- Change of location of a restricted dog.
- Missing or death of a restricted dog.