Skip to main content

Pets and animals

  (02) 6393 8000
  [email protected]


Report it

Read Complaints About Dogs section before reporting issues.

Looking after your pet

A pet can be a wonderful companion, but being an animal owner also brings responsibilities. Orange City Council works to ensure pet owners act responsibly, so that local people and their animal companions can share the city’s great lifestyle.

This section of the website has a range of information on how to prevent potential problems, the government regulations which covers backyard animals and how the council deals with complaints.

Caring for your dog

There are many reasons why dogs are the most popular pets for many Australians. So you can enjoy your pet and keep it healthy, friendly and problem-free, there are responsibilities that every dog owner should be aware of.

Dogs that aren’t managed well, can quickly create common problems for the owner and the neighbourhood.

Orange City Council has prepared this brochure about caring for your dog.

Download Responsible Dog Ownership brochure [ 890 KB ]

Keeping cats as pets

A cat can be an ideal family companion, but like all pets there are financial costs and responsibilities to be managed. Often planning ahead can avoid some of the potential problems which are part of having a cat as a pet.

Orange City Council has compiled this handy brochure with helpful tips and advice.

Download Responsible Cat Ownership brochure [ 760 KB ]

Healthy Pets and your neighbourhood

If you want to keep animals in urban areas, it’s important to consider the impact these animals can have on neighbours, particularly when it comes to potential noise and odour.

Orange City Council will investigate complaints about noise, potential health impacts and other problems. It’s the job of the council to implement state government regulations about animals.

According to government regulations, animals must be kept in a manner that does not :

  • Create unclean or unhealthy conditions for people or animals
  • Attract or provide conditions that harbour for vermin
  • Create offensive noise or odours
  • Cause a drainage or dust nuisance
  • Create waste disposal or pollution problems
  • Create conditions that unreasonably annoy neighbouring residents
  • Cause a nuisance because of a proliferation of flies, lice, fleas or other pests and parasites
  • Cause neighbouring residents to fear for their safety.

Animal numbers

State regulations contain limits on the numbers of some species (poultry) but in most cases there are no specific limits on number of animals which can be kept in an urban setting. However, the more animals are kept, the more likely its is that there will be a problem which create a complaint from a neighbour.

Orange City Council recommends that the number of animals kept at a suburban property be limited to these catergories :

  • 2 dogs
  • 2 cats
  • 5 Poultry – includes chickens, ducks, geese etc. Roosters cannot be kept in residential backyards. The ban on roosters, contained in the NSW Government’s State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes)  2008 Part 2 Division 1 Subdivision 21 2.41 iv. and v. , is due to the very high likelihood of noise complaints.
  • 100 pigeons – racing birds, 40 stock birds
  • 50 small birds – includes budgies, canaries, quails finches
  • 2 large birds – includes cockatoo and corella
  • 1 pet rat
  • 10 mice or guinea pigs
  • 1 sheep or goat. Billy goats are not recommended.

Complaints about dogs

While dogs are Orange’s most popular kind of pet, complaints about dogs also routinely produce some of the highest tallies of complaints that come to the council . This page provides information on how to make a complaint, how the council will deal with a complaint and some tips on how to prevent a situation when your dog might be complained about.

Noise from barking dogs

Barking is a normal way of communicating for dogs. But, excessive barking is usually caused by an animal that is socially deprived, distressed or suffering, poorly trained, is provoked, or has a boring or sedentary lifestyle.

Tips for owners of ‘nuisance’ barking dogs

The most important step that can help prevent barking is to identify why the dog is barking.
In cases where dogs bark because of lack of exercise, poor health or diet, boredom, or social deprivation, these problems can be addressed, and the ‘nuisance barking’ may end. However, animal experts believe it is important to prevent a dog from excessive barking before it forms a pattern of habitual barking.

The following suggestions may help a dog owner prevent their pet from developing barking habits :

  • Choose the right breed of dog for your lifestyle. Large dogs or working breeds in small backyards are prone to boredom and lack of exercise, which may lead to barking and other problems.
  • Provide adequate space for your pet to move freely within your enclosed backyard.
  • Dogs should not be chained to a fixed point. If chaining is necessary then put the animal on a running chain.
  • Keep your dog in an enclosed area in the backyard or inside the house during the night and inclement weather.
  • Provide your dog with a balanced and varied diet, and access to water at all times.
  • Provide regular and adequate exercise according to the breed’s requirements.
  • Spend time with your dog. Dogs are pack animals and need social interaction with their owners and if possible other dogs.

For animals that habitually bark, options such as specialist training or devices may be a solution.


Obedience schools, vets and accredited dog behaviorists can provide specialist training and instruction to discourage habitual barking. An internet search will show a number of these options operating in the Orange area.

Anti-barking Collars

These can be useful in preventing your dog from excessive barking, however to be effective they should be used in conjunction with other methods designed to prevent barking.  Anti-barking collars will not prevent a dog from habitual barking if the cause of the barking is not identified and remedied. Some research suggests the collars may be more effective on dogs which have recently started barking habitually. These devices can be bought from pet supplies stores in Orange.

You can get further advice and tips by downloading this brochure.

Download Noisy Dogs and Nuisance Barking brochure [930 KB ]

Complaining about a barking dog

If you believe a dog in your neighbourhood is barking because of neglect or cruelty, you should contact the RSPCA immediately.

Like any other potential neighbourhood problem, if you can, please contact the owner of the barking dog personally. If the barking only happens when the residents are away, your neighbour may be unaware of the problem.

You can lodge a complaint about a barking dog using this online complaint form. A council ranger from Orange City will investigate the complaint confidentially.

Please keep in mind that, to be fair to all concerned, complaints about barking dogs may take some time to resolve. Once the council makes contact with the dog’s owner, they must be given time to make changes to solve the problem.

It is also important that you may have to signal that the problem has not yet been solved by lodging further complaints after reasonable periods of time. So that you can further understand this process, you can download an information brochure which contains more details and the timeline to expect when making a complaint.
Download Barking dogs in your neighbourhood [880 KB]

Dog Attacks

To report a dog attack, call Orange City Council’s on 1300 650 511. Orange City Council rangers will respond promptly to reports of an attack to ensure the community is safe.

It can be a very difficult and traumatic experience for all involved in a dog attack. This NSW Government site provides information on what to do if you are attacked by a dog as well as what to do if your dog bites someone and a council ranger gives you Notice of an Intention to declare your dog a dangerous dog.

Download this brochure for more information if your dog has been involved in an attack.

Download My dog has been involved in an attack brochure [1.5 MB]

Keeping a restricted dog 

The Companion Animals Act 1998 classifies certain breeds of dog as ‘restricted dogs’. There are strict conditions covering how people can own and keep a restricted dog, These conditions include penalties of on-the-spot-fines of $1320.00 if you are found in breach of any of the conditions.

The breeds include: Pit bull terriers, Japanese tosas, Argentinian fighting dogs and Brazillian fighting dogs. You can download this brochure for more information.

Download Keeping Restricted Breeds brochure [ 1MB ]

Leash-free areas around Orange

Taking your dog for regular walks is an important way of keeping your pet healthy. Leash-free areas can also provide opportunities for socialising your pet with other dogs.

Leash-free areas are provided by Orange City Council at

  • Paul Park
  • Brendan Sturgeon Oval
  • Ridley Oval
  • Pilcher Park
  • Wirrabarra Walk
  • Bloomfield Park
  • Anzac Park
  • Machin Park
  • Riawena Oval
  • Orange Showground
  • Young Street

View the map showing the location of these areas below or download a convenient map by clicking the button.

DOWNLOAD Map of Orange's Leash-free areas [ 2.8 MB ]

Taking your dog to a leash-free area

Orange City Council maintains special areas in Orange where your dog can run around leash-free. When using leash-free areas and other permitted areas of public open space you:

  • should make sure that your dog is under your effective control at all times.
  • must pick up and dispose of your dog’s faeces.
  • should make sure you and you dog behave courteously, and in line with appropropriate dog ettiquete
  • should consider whether your dog is socialised enough to interact with other dogs. Some breeds of dog are banned from these areas. The leash-free exercising of greyhounds in council parks and reserves is prohibited.

When taking dogs to other parks and council reserves, it’s important to remember to always keep dogs on a leash and that all dogs are prohibited within :

  • 10 metres of any play equipment for the use of children
  • 10 metres of any apparatus provided for the preparation of food or for the consumption of food by humans ie permanent outdoor tables and BBQ areas
  • an area set aside for the playing of organised games, such as sporting fields.

Horses and Cattle

Under the Local Government Act 1993, horses and cattle are not to be kept near certain premises. Horses and cattle must not be kept within 9 metres (or such greater distance as the Council may determine in a particular case) of a dwelling, school shop, office, factory, workshop, church or other place of worship, public hall or premises used of the manufacture, preparation or storage of food.

The floors of stables must be paved with concrete, asphalt or other equally impervious material and must be properly graded to drain. Horse yards and cattle yards must be enclosed as to prevent the escape of horses and cattle.


The size of buildings used to house chickens in a backyard is covered by State Government legislation. There is a limit to the size of chicken coops which can be built without requiring a development consent from the City Council.

Essentially, a chicken coop up to 15 square metres and housing 5 fowls can be built without the consent of the City Council.  The fowl house also has to be at least 4.5 metres from a dwelling.

Microchipping and Registration

In NSW, all dogs and cats must be microchipped and registered under the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998. All cats and dogs must be microchipped before being sold, or by the time it is 12 weeks of age, (which ever happens first) and must be registered at 6 months of age.

To Register

To register your animal, you can come along to the cashier’s counter at in the Orange Civic Centre with:

  • the microchipping details,
  • a certificate to verify desexing (if you have had your pet desexed) and
  • the lifetime registration fee.  (Orange City Council has eftpos and credit card facilities).

Registration fees

These fees are for the 2020/2021 financial year.

Non-desexed Animal-$216

Non-desexed Animal (Owned by a Registered Breeder) – $60

Desexed Animal-$60

Desexed Animal (Owned by a Pensioner) – $26

Annual permit fee (effective July 1, 2020)

Undesexed Cat (cat not desexed by 4 months of age) – $80

Dangerous Dog  (dog declared to be dangerous)- $195

Restricted Dog (dog declared to be a restricted breed) – $195

Change of Registration Details

It is the responsibility of the present owner to notify any changes of address or if the animal is sold or given to a new owner.  Any changes need to be made on the specific form that is available from Council’s Customer Service counter or can be dowloaded here.

DOWNLOAD Change of Address form DOWNLOAD Change of Owner Details form