City of Wodonga


Responsible dog/cat ownership

Cat walking in grass.

The Domestic Animals Act 1994 was introduced to promote animal welfare, the responsible ownership of dogs and cats and the protection of the environment.

This information will assist you as a pet owner to understand the responsibilities of owning a dog or cat in the Wodonga municipality.

What are my responsibilities to my dog/cat?

Make sure you:

Choose a pet that is right for you - consider the yard space, time needed for exercise and training, other family members.

Also consider:

  • The costs involved such as veterinarian fees, food, immunisation and council registration costs;
  • Exercise your pet daily;
  • Provide a healthy balanced diet; and
  • Have your cat or dog sterilised if it is not intended for breeding/showing.

All domestic cats and dogs over three months of age must be registered each year with us. We conduct a doorknock each year to ensure all dogs and cats over three months of age are registered. Microchipping is compulsory for all animals under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. All cats are to be desexed.

What are my responsibilities to the community as a pet owner?

Cat and dog owners can be fined or prosecuted for offences in certain circumstances.

You can be fined:

  • If your dog is found wandering outside your premises;
  • If you encourage or cause your dog to attack, bite, worry or chase a person or animal;
  • If your dog or cat is a nuisance, or you fail to comply with a court notice ordering you to stop the cat or dog being a nuisance. This includes persistent barking which annoys your neighbours;
  • If your dog or cat wanders on to private property without the owner's permission on more than one occasion, and a warning has been issued by us, an infringement notice may be issued;
  • If your dog or cat is unregistered;
  • If your cat is breaking the cat curfew. Cats must be confined to their owner's property between 7pm and 7am, seven days a week;
  • If you allow any part of the animal's excrement to remain on any road, street, nature strip, reserve, and public or council land; and
  • Fail to take responsibility for any damage your dog or cat may cause.

For more information, see the frequently asked questions.

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If you have received an infringement and would like it to be reviewed, you need to complete the general application form for review.

Infringements can include (and are not limited to):

  • Dog at large during the day time;
  • Dog at large during night time;
  • Cat at large in restricted hours (from 7pm to 7am);
  • Failure to apply to register dog or cat;
  • Dog creating a nuisance; and
  • Non-serious injury caused by a dog attack.

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PDFCat ownership fact sheet - DEPI (PDF 627KB)

PDFDog ownership fact sheet - DEPI (PDF 598KB)

Last updated: 20-06-2013

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