Keeping animals

Pets play an important and positive role in the lives of not only their owners, but also the wider community. An important part of being an owner of a companion animal is to ensure your pets are kept safe and don't create a nuisance. 


Non-domestic animals in residential areas 

Keeping animals other than domestic pets has the potential to compromise the wellbeing of the animal and the health or amenity of the surrounding neighbourhood. 

Birds and other animals kept on any property must be kept in a way that ensures they don't create a public nuisance, an offensive odour, or unhealthy conditions. The Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 sets out standards for keeping poultry, pigs, horse and cattle (scroll to Part 5 of Schedule 2).

Failure to meet the standards can result in Cessnock City Council issuing an order limiting or prohibiting the keeping of birds and animals, or the order may place restrictions on the manner in which the birds or animals are kept. 


Responsible dog ownership

Keep your mate safe!

You or the person in charge of your dog must take precautions to prevent your dog from escaping your property. This means ensuring you have adequate fencing, gates remain locked or shut and there are no holes or gaps where they can escape. 

Your dog must be microchipped and registered, and must also wear a collar and tag when outside your property. The tag must show the name of the dog, as well as your address and telephone number.

Council has FREE metal dog tags available that you can have engraved with your pet's details! They are available at Council’s Administration Building.

Keeping your dog under control in a public place

When out in public with your dog, it must be under the effective control of a competent person (over the age of 16) by the means of an adequate chain, cord or lead. All dogs must be walked on a lead, with the exception of when they are in Council’s off-leash exercise areas.

Dogs are prohibited from certain areas while out in public:

  • within 10 metres of a children's play area
  • within 10 metres of food preparation or consumption areas (except cafes or restaurants whose owners permit dogs)
  • recreation areas where dogs are prohibited
  • public bathing areas where dogs are prohibited
  • school grounds
  • child care centres
  • shopping centres where dogs are prohibited
  • wildlife protection areas

Penalties apply for dog owners (or the person in charge of the dog ) for not having your dog under effective control.

Cleaning up after your dog 

Nobody likes dealing with dog mess in public. If your dog defecates in a public place, you must immediately remove the dog’s faeces and properly dispose of them. Many pet shops and stores sell products and bags for the convenient and easy removal of dog mess. 


Responsible cat ownership

Your cat must be microchipped and registered, and should have some sort of identification while they are in a public place (a collar with a tag with your address and contact details).

Cats don't need be contained within your property – they are entitled to roam. Cats are however prohibited from entering food preparation or consumption areas, or wildlife protection areas.

Cat curfew

Cat owners should consider keeping their cats indoors or imposing a ‘cat curfew’. Preventing your cat from roaming at night will limit nuisance to your neighbours, fighting with other cats or posing a risk to native wildlife.