Complaints about animals - Shoalhaven City Council

Complaints about animals

Council works to ensure that people are not affected by noise, odour, vermin or other issues from animals in residential areas.

More information follows about how to deal with:   


Council encourages owners to keep their cat indoors and in an enclosure outside. This will keep your cat safe and protect the wildlife.

  • Roaming - There are no restrictions on cats roaming other than in prohibited areas such as wildlife areas or food preparation/consumption areas as outlined in the Companion Animals Act.
  • Stray - There is no definition for stray cat in the Companion Animals Act.
  • Nuisance - If you believe that a cat is a nuisance please refer to the Companion Animals Act for the definition of a Nuisance cat.
  • Feral - If you have a feral cat problem you can hire a cat trap from the animal shelter.  Once the cat is trapped you can deliver the cat to the animal shelter or contact Ranger Services who will pick up the cat.
  • Attacking - Refer to Section 32 of the Companion Animals Act.  Nothing in Section 32 authorises a contravention of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
  • Identification - A cat must wear a form of identification that enables Council to ascertain the name of the cat and the address or telephone number of the owner.

Barking dogs

If you are impacted by the noise from your neighbour’s dog, or you are the owner of a barking dog, please see our Barking Dog page.

Dog attacks

The information below is to assist you if you are involved in a dog attack - which includes being aggressed by a dog.  To gain a better understanding of the legislation refer to the Companion Animals Act.

Contact Council with details including:  

  • Date, time and location of the attack 
  • Description of the dog e.g. colour, breed, size 
  • Details of the dog's owner, if possible 
  • If victims and/or witnesses are prepared to provide sufficient evidence of the incident, can identify the dog or determine where it came from, a ranger may then be able to identify persons in charge of the animal and legal action may be taken.  The following attachment will help guide you through the information required for further action to proceed.  Dog Attack Witness Report(PDF 330kb).

Please contact the Police if the attack occurs after hours.  Police have the same powers to act under the Companion Animals Act as Council Rangers.

Stray, roaming and nuisance dogs

If a dog turns up at your house or follows you home, please contact Ranger Services and we will have an animal management officer attend your premises and scan the animal for a microchip. If the owner can be located the animal will be returned home. If there is no identification the animal will be taken to the Shoalhaven Animal Shelter. 

Alternatively, you can take the animal to the Animal Shelter located at Nowra Hill. It is recognised as the central point for collection of stray or abandoned animals in the Shoalhaven and provides the best chance for a dog or cat to be reunited with his/her owner. It is an offence under the Companion Animals Act to keep an animal that does not belong to you.

If there is a dog roaming around the street in your area please contact Ranger Services and provide details including:  

  • The location of the dog 
  • A full description of the dog, e.g. colour, breed, size 
  • The identity and address of the owner of the dog, if possible 

If we identify the owner of the dog, action can be taken in accordance with the Companion Animals Act.  If we cannot find the dog or its owner, we suggest you contact us the next time you see the dog with as much information as possible.

If you believe that a dog is a nuisance please refer to the Companion Animals Act for the definition of a Nuisance Dog.

Livestock on public land

If livestock such as cows, sheep, pigs or goats are out on the road contact Ranger Services as soon as possible.

If your neighbour's livestock is entering your property this is a civil matter between you and your neighbour.  For advice contact the Local Land Services (new window)

Keeping of poultry, fowl and birds

The keeping of roosters in residential areas is discouraged as their crowing usually causes offensive noise and can cause neighbourhood disputes. the following brochures provide guidelines on keeping poultry and birds:

Keeping Poultry (pdf)
Aviaries & Bird Keeping (pdf)

Regardless of these guidelines, chickens and poultry must not be a nuisance or a health risk and poultry yards must be kept clean and free of offensive odours.

Note: Generally horses, cattle, roosters and pigs should not be kept in residential areas.  More specific information is available in Part 5 of the NSW Legislation - Standards for Keeping Birds and Animals (new window)

Report a Problem

Contact us

Ranger Services
Phone: (02) 4429 3433
After Hours: (02) 4421 3100
Fax: (02) 4422 1816
E-mail: Rangers
(Note - For matters requiring urgent attention, please telephone using the above numbers)

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