Report animal problems

Barking dogs

If your dog is barking excessively, please take a look at the NSW Environmental Protection Agency website page on Barking Dogs. They have also produced a useful booklet 'Dealing with barking dogs' which can be downloaded from the website.

If you are troubled by a barking dog in your neighbourhood, follow the below helpful steps. It is important to note that not all barking is unreasonable; it is only unreasonable if it affects your activities at home.  

Step 1.Let the owner know

You should always talk to your neighbour to try and resolve it first.He or she may not be aware that a nuisance exists as the barking of their own dog may not be a problem to them but may be offensive to you. In most cases owners want to do the right thing and will co-operate, in which case, move to step 2. Should this not be successful and the owner is unwilling to co-operate, you should move on to step 3 below.

Step 2.Wait a few weeks

If the owner agrees to do something about the barking, please wait a few weeks to see if they have been successful in their efforts. Give them feedback about what is working and what is not. It's in the best interest of a harmonious neighbourhood that the matter is sorted directly by those affected.

Step 3.Contact a Community Justice Centre 

Community Justice Centres (CJC) are government-funded, but independent centres that specialise in settling differences between neighbours without entering into complicated legal processes. A CJC will suggest a mediation process.

This process will not cost you any money, and has a high success rate. For information on your nearest CJC, visit


Roaming cats

There’s no law prohibiting cats from roaming, but there may be consequences if your cat roams beyond your property or is considered a nuisance. The Companion Animals Act outlines what constitutes a nuisance cat and what you’re responsible for as a cat owner.

Rules for domestic cats:

  • they must be identified by a form of identification that enables a local authority to ascertain the name of the cat and the address or telephone number of the owner
  • cats are prohibited in wildlife protection areas and food preparation/consumption areas
  • you must ensure your cat does not interfere with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises
  • your cat must not repeatedly damage anything outside the property on which it is ordinarily kept. 

If you find a stray cat, we suggest you leave it alone, speak with your neighbours to determine whether it’s owned by anyone nearby or take it to a local vet to see if it is microchipped. 

Chickens in residential areas

You can keep up to five hens on residential areas zoned R1, R2, R3, R4, and RU5. 

Up to 10 chickens, including roosters, may be kept on residential areas zoned R5, and larger non-residential properties. There are NSW government regulations regarding the type of enclosure you can have on your property for housing poultry. 

You need to ensure your chickens:

  • Are kept in your backyard.
  • Have an adequately sized pen for the number of chickens you keep.
  • Have their pen swept at least twice a week.
  • Don’t roam outside the property in which they are kept.  

NSW Environment Planning laws set out the requirements for chicken pens or hen houses.

Requirements can vary depending on the residential zone or bushfire rating of the property, so be sure to refer to the legislation