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Pets and Animals

Pets and Animals

Pet Owner Obligations

Gunnedah Shire Council promotes the benefits of owning pets and we aim to ensure that pets and people live together happily and safely.

Our Animal Control - Companion Animals Management Plan balances the rights of animals and their owners with the needs of the wider community and environment, and encourages responsible animal ownership.

We aim to educate non-pet owners and children about animal behaviour and safety around other people’s pets. And we are committed to providing an off-leash exercise area for dogs and their owners, while also ensuring non-pet owners have access to parks and gardens. Woolshed Reserve is the designated off-leash area and is located on the corner of Maitland and Chandos Streets. Why not take your dog down for a run and enjoy the scenery of the Namoi River bank?

The Companion Animals Act 1998 sets out an owner’s responsibility for controlling their pet in the local neighbourhood and public places. For example, dogs must be controlled on a leash when in public (except in designated off-leash areas) and wear an identification disc with their name and contact number of their owner on their collar.

If you believe an animal is being neglected or mistreated, please contact the RSPCA NSW Animal Cruelty Hotline on 1300 278 358.

Restricted Breeds & Dangerous Dogs
Under NSW law, restricted breeds can no longer be sold or given away in NSW. It is illegal to accept ownership of such a dog. If you already own such a dog, you must desex and register it. If you own a restricted dog and it attacks or injures a person or an animal (other than vermin) without being provoked, you must report it to Council within 24 hours of the attack or injury. In NSW, a restricted dog is one of the following:

  • American pitbull terrier or Pitbull terrier
  • Japanese tosa
  • dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dog)
  • fila Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dog)
  • Any other dog of a breed, kind or description, whose importation into Australia is prohibited by, or under, the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth (Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario)
  • Any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council, under division 6 of the Companion Animals Act 1998, to be a restricted dog.

Starting from 1 July 2020, annual fees for restricted and dangerous dogs apply under the Companion Animals Act 1998. You will need an annual permit obtained from