Animals and Pets

If you have pets, or you’re thinking of bringing a new pet into your home, then you need to be aware of the requirements and responsibilities of pet ownership in Burwood Council.


NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) is responsible for ensuring that policy and legislative frameworks in NSW support good animal welfare outcomes.

For more up to date information and resources on animal welfare please refer to the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the RSPCA

You can report concerns for the welfare of an animal in NSW to RSPCA NSW or Animal Welfare League NSW, or by calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

An annual permit fee as prescribed by legislation is required for dogs of a restricted breed or those declared to be dangerous. This permit is in addition to the one-off lifetime pet registration fee.

This permit highlights the responsibility required by those owning dangerous and restricted breeds of dogs and encourages owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.

You can request that Burwood Council review your dangerous dog declaration. Owners must ensure their dog undergoes appropriate behavioural training as part of any review.

Call Council on 9911 9911 for more information.

An annual permit fee as prescribed by legislation is required for cats that are not de-sexed if they are over four months old. This permit is in addition to the one-off lifetime pet registration fee.

De-sexing your cat is strongly encouraged, by doing this you will:

  • improve the health and wellbeing of the animal
  • reduce the amount of unwanted litters
  • lower demand on pounds
  • reduce euthanasia rates
  • help to address concerns about feral, stray and roaming cats. 

Dogs generally bark for a reason – hungry, thirsty, bored, sick, lonely, neglected or being provoked. However, excessive barking can disturb neighbours and cause annoyance.

If you suspect a dog is being mistreated, contact the RSPCA immediately.

Making a complaint

The dog owner may not realise their dog’s barking is bothering you, especially if it barks when they are not home.

Council has the ability to action a barking dog complaint on your behalf, but it is your responsibility to prove the animal's barking is at large.

You will need to keep a comprehensive record of:

  • when the dog barks
  • the exact duration of barking
  • your location when you heard the dog bark.

Contact Council on 9911 9911 for more information.

You can create an online profile for your pet through .

By creating an online profile and linking all your pets, you can easily update and amend information to ensure you are reunited you with your pet if it becomes lost.

Create an online profile

Once you have successfully set up the owner profile, you can claim your pet/s using the microchip number.

See the Owner and Breeders Online User Guide and FAQ for more information.

Update your name

Occasionally, the name on the Pet Registry may be different to your legal name. If this is the case, you will need to contact Burwood Council  on 9911 9911 to update your information.

Find an Off-leash Area

Find an Off-leash Area

There are five off-leash areas across Burwood Council. We clearly signpost off-leash areas and provide dog litter bag dispensers at all off-leash parks so owners can clean-up after their pets and avoid a fine. 

  • Burwood Park: Near Gardeners Shed - 6am to 8am
  • Grant Park: Old Enfield Bowling Club - 6am to 9pm
  • Henley Park: Marked area at eastern most end of Henley Park between Short and Mitchell Streets - available all hours except when organised sporting events are taking place
  • Blair Park: Blair Ave - 3pm to 10am
  • Sanders Reserve: At the corner of Oxford and Norwood Streets - available all hours 

View a map of off-leash areas

Regular off-leash exercise in designated parks helps dogs socialise, relieve boredom and release built-up energy. It can also help reduce unwanted behavior such as excessive barking.

Exercising Your Dog Off the Leash

Rules in Dog Off- Leash Parks

 You should only exercise your dog off-leash in a dedicated dog off-leash exercise area, please adhere to the rules listed below:

  • Dogs must be under the effective control of a competent person at all times.
  • Do not allow your dog to run up to an unknown dog. Not all dogs like to interact with other dogs.
  • Remove your dog if it becomes anxious, aggressive or annoys other dogs or people.
  • Clean up after your dog and dispose of dog litter in bins provided.  Failure to remove dog poo immediately may incur a fine. 
  • Dogs are not permitted off-leash on ovals during organised sports and games, and are not permitted off-leash in the surrounding parks/reserves at any time.
  • Dogs must be put on their leash when leaving the off-leash area.
  • Keep dogs 10m away from playgrounds and food areas.
  • Failure to comply with notices displayed at Council ovals, parks and reserves is an offence under Section 632 of the Local Government Act 1993.
  • Penalties apply under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

Dog Park Etiquette

To ensure all pets and people enjoy the parks safely please follow a few dog park etiquette listed below.

  • Have your dog leashed before entering an off-leash area.
  • Clean up after your dog and always carry a waste bag – bins are provided.
  • Ensure your dog is fully vaccinated when using all parks.
  • Train your dog to have a reliable recall before using an off-leash park.
  • Keep an eye on your dog to prevent any unruly behaviour towards other dogs or people.
  • Consider leaving the park if your dog’s play interaction is not compatible (such as rough play).
  • Teach your dog manners such as sit when greeting humans to avoid jumping up behaviour.
  • Consider de-sexing your dog to decrease the likelihood of antisocial behaviour at the park.
  • Be aware of canine body language that indicates your dog is not comfortable and consider leaving the park.

Canine Body Language

Please be aware not all dogs enjoy off-leash parks and may display the following signs to indicate they’re not comfortable interacting with other dogs: tail between the legs rolling onto the back head down – cowering.

Signs that indicate your dog might feel threatened by another dog: growling and or teeth baring stiff body language tail up and standing tall.

An overcrowded off-leash dog park can be overwhelming for some dogs.

It’s ok if your dog does not enjoy the off-leash dog park – walk your dog on-leash instead. Going out for long walks with your dog will not only provide physical and mental stimulation for your dog, but also exercise for yourself.

In NSW it is the law that dog and cat owners both microchip and lifetime register pets. Cats and dogs should be registered by six months of age.

To register your cat or dog online, please ensure that:

  • your cat or dog is microchipped
  • your cat is desexed
  • your dog is not menacing, dangerous or a restricted breed
  • you are over 18 years old. We cannot allow minors to register a pet.

Register your pet online

Registration fees are valid for the lifetime of each pet and penalties apply if you choose not to microchip and register your pet.

If your dog is an assistance animal you're not required to pay a registration fee, but you will need to register your animal through Council.

Microchipping your pet

Your local vet or an authorised identifier can microchip your pet. The microchip contains a unique number which will identify your pet should they become lost or stolen. Your animal’s microchip is activated once the identification number is provided to the NSW Pet Registry by your vet or authorised identifier.

Unlike dogs, cats are allowed to roam freely in Burwood Council.

Council will only remove a cat if it is assessed by a Council Community Safety Officer as feral.

When dealing with stray cats in your area:

  • Do not feed the cat, as you will encourage the cat to return.
  • Minimise access to spaces under your house where cats can breed and seal access areas. 
  • If you are sure the cat is feral, and you have not encouraged the cat to return, you can trap the cat at your own expense. Once the cat has been caught, make a phone call to Council. Council's Community Safety Officers will attend to assess the cat. If the cat is determined feral, Council will remove it. If Council's Officer assesses the animal as domesticated the cat will be released on the spot.
  • Call The Cat Protection Society of NSW on 9519 7201 to see if they can rehome strays. The Cat Protection Society of NSW is a not-for-profit charity and may not have funds, staff or room to take stray kittens. 
  • Hire and set a cat trap to humanely catch stray cats. Cat traps are not for domesticated cats. A domesticated cat may seem 'feral' in a cage, as frightened animals can act differently in a stressful situation. If you have caught what you know to be a domesticated cat, you must immediately release it so that it can return home.

There are some great benefits to having chickens in your backyard, however there are rules and regulations that relate to keeping poultry. Please check with Council if you are not sure if your property is affected by the following.

Roosters are not allowed

Roosters are not allowed to be kept across Burwood Council.

Rules for keeping chickens

There are rules and regulations for keeping chickens. These rules are in place to protect the health of your chickens and the Australian poultry industry.

Under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, Part 2, Division 1, Subdivision 21 states you:

  • cannot have more than five fowl or poultry
  • cannot house any roosters.

The chicken coop must be:

  • limited to a floor area of 15m2
  • a maximum height of 3m above ground level (existing)
  • located in the rear yard
  • limited to one per property
  • a distance from the boundary of 3m
  • located at least 4.5m from any dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food
  • made of materials that blend with the environment  and be non-reflective
  • adequately drained
  • paved with concrete, mineral asphalt, or situated on clean sand underneath the roosts or perches
  • occupied by no more than five fowls or poultry.

A fowl or poultry house can be constructed or installed on land in a residential zone, but not if the property is a heritage item or a draft heritage item.

The poultry yard must:

  • be enclosed to prevent poultry from escaping
  • at all times be kept clean and free from offensive odours.

Additional rules and regulations

See Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 - Schedule 2, Part 5, Division 2

Poultry are not to be kept near certain premises

  1. Fowls (that is, birds of the species Gallus gallus) or guinea fowls must not be kept within 4.5m (or such greater distance as the council may determine in a particular case) of a dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food.
  2. Poultry (other than fowls referred to in subclause (1)) must not be kept within 30m of any building referred to in subclause (1).
  3. The floors of poultry houses must be paved with concrete or mineral asphalt underneath the roosts or perches. However, this subclause does not apply to poultry houses:

(a) that are not within 15.2m of a dwelling, public hall or school, or

(b) that are situated on clean sand.

The standards in this clause apply to a person only if the Council has served an order under section 124 of the Act to that effect on the person.

You can increase the chances of finding a missing pet by creating a profile on the NSW Pet Registry website.

By registering your pet’s microchip number, creating a profile and agreeing to be contacted, you can allow anyone who finds your cat or dog to let you know by sending you a secure message online.

The is no charge for registering an assistance animal.

Once the animal has been microchipped by a vet or authorised identifier, the owner should contact Council to apply for a no fee registration.

What proof is required?

Council will request reasonable proof that your animal is a genuine assistance animal. This means proof that:

  • you have a disability

  • your animal has been trained to alleviate the effect of the disability

  • your animal is trained to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.

Find out more about assistance animals, including information on laws for assistance animals under the Companion Animals Act 1998 in NSW. 

If threatened or attacked by a dog you should contact Council on 9911 9911. This number can also be used for after-hours attacks.

The Companion Animals Act 1998 requires that all dogs must be under effective control by means of a chain, cord or leash when in public (unless in a designated off-leash area) in order to minimise the chances of an attack occurring. Owners are responsible for their pets actions. The Act also gives Council powers to investigate alleged attacks on a person or another animal.

In order for Council to investigate the attack detailed information is required:

  • Statement of Facts – date, time, location, description of the attack and nay injuries.
  • Description of the offending dog – A description of the dogs appearance, colour, distinguishing marks and sex (if known).
  • Where the dog lives or comes from
  • Name of the dog, if known
  • Name and contact details of the dogs owner, if known
  • Name and contact details of any witnesses
  • Photographic evidence of any injuries to any person or animal
  • A doctors report detailing of any injuries suffered by any persons
  • A vets report detailing the injuries suffered by any animal.

There are significant penalties for allowing your dog to attack a person or other animal.

The owner of the attacking animal can be fined for breaches, prosecution in court resulting in conviction and heavy fines, yearly registration fees, strict confining and control of the animal and/or animal being declared dangerous.

We recommend that owners are proactive to minimise the risk of your dog attacking.

We recommend that you:

  • ensure that the property is secure to ensure the animal can not escape
  • always walk your dog on a lead when in public place
  • train and socialise your dog.

The rules for selling or giving a cat or dog away changed on 1 July 2019.

  • It is the responsibility of the person selling or giving away an animal to transfer ownership to the new owner through  The responsibility of the animal will remain with you as the original owner until the transfer has been completed.
  • If selling your pet, any advertisement must include either:
  • a microchip number
  • a breeder identification number
  • a re-homing organisation number. 

 Change of Owner/ Details Form C3A