Responsible Pet Ownership

WDRC-DOG-VIDEO-SCREENSHOTS_-Gerkies-22.jpg

Overview

Meet Koda, a dog living in the Western Downs!

Are you a pet owner? Whether you've only recently adopted a furr-friend, or you've had animal companions for years, it's always a good idea to brush up on your pet ownership basics!

Let Koda tell you about a day in her life as a dog in the Western Downs, how her family helps to keep her happy, healthy and safe as responsible pet owners, and some simple tips on how you can be a great pet paw-rent too!

 

Keeping a Pet

Keeping a pet is a big responsibility. Our pets rely on us to keep them safe, healthy and happy. Whether your pet is a cat, dog, bird, or other animal, you need to ensure your pet does not cause a nuisance to your neighbours. You are responsible for ensuring that:

  • Your pet stays on your property (not just dogs). Wandering pets are a nuisance; they can damage property, be hit by moving vehicles causing severe injuries, create neighbourhood barking and cause fear in the community if they act aggressively. 

  • You walk your pet (not just dogs) on a lead when out in public. All pets must be on leads, including if you allow your pet to swim in a creek or lake on public land.

  • Your pet (not just dogs) doesn't attack or menace people or other animals. If your pet is involved in an incident, it may be declared menacing or dangerous or seized. Ensure you understand your pet's temperament and monitor contact with others closely.

  • Your pet doesn't create a noise nuisance to your neighbours. Barking, squawking, loud meowing, crowing, etc. can be disturbing to your neighbours and Council may take action. 

  • Waste (faecal matter and urine) is cleaned up daily and does not create odour or a food source for rodents.

  • You feed your pet regularly with quality food that is appropriate for their age, size and breed. Ensure the food does not become a food source for rodents.

  • You provide your pet with plenty of clean water. Ensure you clean the water bowls regularly and keep them topped up, particularly in hot weather.

  • Your pet is wormed and vaccinated. Consult your local veterinary surgeon to determine what your pet requires.

Animal Management Team .jpg

What Dog Owners Need to Know

 

Registration

  • It is compulsory to register and microchip all dogs over the age of 12 weeks, in accordance with the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, with the exception of working dogs as defined in the Act
  • As a responsible pet owner, it is your obligation to ensure your pets are identifiable, healthy, safely contained and do not create a nuisance in your neighbourhood. 

Please note: Having your dog microchipped is not the same as registering your dog with Council. These two processes are not related and only Council can register your dog. 

For more specific information please read more about Dog Registration here. 

Microchipping

  • All dogs under 12 weeks of age must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age.
  • All dogs must be microchipped when sold or given away.
  • Microchip numbers for dogs must be provided when registering your dog so that your dog can be returned if it strays without a tag. 
  • You are required to update microchip information with new information within 10 days of any changes. 

Desexing

  • Desexing of dogs is not compulsory, however it is recommended and offers significant discounts on fees.
  • Desexing of dogs is recommended because of benefits to your animal’s temperament, and the community. 
  • Desexing of dogs also prevents accidents from occurring and reduces the number of unwanted dogs which cause nuisance and have to be euthanized. If your dog does produce a litter there are rules that apply, refer to Dog Breeding in Western Downs for more information. 

Keeping

  • Dogs must be kept properly contained on your property. 
  • Dogs found wandering on public land or on neighbouring properties can be impounded and release fees apply. 
  • There are minimum standards for keeping dogs, including the maximum number you can keep on your property.

Restricted, Dangerous and Menacing Dogs

  • All declared regulated (menacing, dangerous or restricted) dogs as defined in the Act are required to be microchipped. 
  • If your dog is a declared dangerous or restricted breed, desexing is mandatory.
  • Incentives are offered for desexing your menacing dog. 

What Cat Owners Need to Know

 

Registration

  • Cats are no longer required to be registered with Council.
  • To enable your cat to be returned to you in the event it is impounded by Council, all pet owners are required to ensure their pets are microchipped and the information on the microchip is kept up to date.

Microchipping

  • All cats must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age.
  • All cats must be microchipped when sold or given away.
  • You are required to update microchip information with new information within 10 days of any changes. 

Desexing

  • Desexing of cats is not compulsory, however it is recommended because of benefits to your animal's temperament and the community.
  • Desexing of cats also prevents accidents from occurring and reduces the number of unwanted cats which cause nuisance and may have to be put down.

Keeping

  • Cats must be kept properly contained on your property. 
  • Cats found wandering on public land or on neighbouring properties can be impounded and release fees apply. 
  • There are minimum standards for keeping cats including the maximum number you can keep on your property.

Further Resources

What animals can I keep at my property?

From 14 November 2011, Western Downs Regional Council is working under a new set of local laws to replace the local laws of the former Council areas and provide consistency across Western Downs.

One of the local laws which was adopted is Local Law No. 2 (Animal Management) 2011, which specifies the type and/or number of animals which are prohibited to be kept in certain areas or may only be kept with a permit.

Council has these laws to ensure that animals are not kept in numbers that could cause a nuisance to nearby neighbours. In large numbers, and on certain allotments, some animals can act as a pack, or may be very difficult to clean up after.

View the Permitted Animal Factsheet Here(PDF, 435KB)

Fact-Sheet-Additional-Animal-Applications.pdf(PDF, 341KB)

Looking after animals from a different council area

So you are looking after an animal from a different council area what do you need to do ? 

In short nothing but things you can do is email info@wdrc.qld.gov.au and advise Western Downs Regional Council of the animal staying this will ensure that the Animal Management staff are aware. If this animal is a dog it must be registered with it's local council. 

There is a 2 week  maximum time frame at one time an animal can stay without the need of an Excess Animal Permit 

Please call 1300 268 624 if you have any further questions. 

Animal Noise Issues

The most effective and successful way of managing a nuisance barking dog is for the person affected by the problem (the complainant) to communicate their concerns directly with the dog owner. There is a chance the dog owner may not be unaware their dog is excessively barking and causing a problem for neighbours. Many dogs will bark when their owners are not home, and this may be due to separation anxiety. Alternatively, the dog may be providing a Neighbourhood Watch service by alerting you and your neighbours to the presence of an intruder.

You should carefully consider all issues and possibilities before deciding on an appropriate course of action. However, once you have decided the barking is excessive and disrupting your way of life, please consider the following options to manage the situation.

Approach the dog’s owner as soon as the problem arises, and state your case clearly and politely. They may not be aware of the issue.If you are not comfortable approaching the dog owner, the below animal management Fact sheet can be placed in the dog owner's letterbox.

Provide sufficient time for the dog owner to rectify the problem.

If the barking continues to be an issue after this period of time, please contact 1300COUNCIL and the Animal Management Team will respond. To assist the process you can complete the below diary to record the barking frequency.

Pet Emergency Plan

Having a pet emergency plan is a vital element of your household's overall emergency plan. By including plans for your pets in your emergency plan you can help ensure that every member of your family (including the four-legged ones) are fully prepared for any situation.

Click here to view and download the Pet Emergency Plan from Get Ready Queensland.(PDF, 169KB)