Your pet questions answered

Read common questions and answers about pet registration and permits, lost or stray dogs and cats, dog attacks, and penalties for offences related to dogs and cats.

What should I do if I have caught or contained a stray dog?

Call us on 6566 3200 to arrange for the dog to be collected.

What if I find a stray cat?

Unlike dogs, cats are free to roam. There is no legal requirement for a cat to be secured inside a private property and no offence in a cat straying or roaming onto neighbouring properties. 

If a cat is repeatedly engaging in nuisance behaviour, Council recommends you speak to the owner and try to find an acceptable solution. If the problem persists, you can contact Council for advice on 6566 3200. Council has cat traps available for use in some circumstances.

A dog attacked a person or another dog in a public place. What should I do?

  • Phone 000 for ambulance and police attendance if a person has received life-threatening injuries.
  • Seek medical attention immediately for any injury to a person.
  • Take an injured animal to the nearest vet.
  • Report the incident to us on 6566 3200. A Council ranger will contact you for an interview. You'll need to briefly explain the incident and describe the attacking dog. It may be useful to write down these details straight after the attack to ensure you don’t forget.

How do I register my dog or cat?

You can register your cat or dog online at the NSW Pet Registry website or over the counter at Council’s Customer Service Centre.

Which dogs and cats require an annual permit?

On 1 July 2020, the NSW Government introduced annual permits for owners of non-desexed cats and dangerous and restricted dogs. The changes were created to improve pets’ health and wellbeing and to encourage owners to better manage their pets. 

You can pay for an annual permit on the NSW Pet Registry website or through Council’s Customer Service Centre.

My cat or dog is missing – what do I need to do?

If your cat or dog has been missing for more than 72 hours, you must notify Council on 6566 3200.

If you have a restricted dog or a declared dangerous or menacing dog, you must notify Council within 24 hours of noticing that your dog has gone missing.

When you report a missing cat or dog, it's important to confirm your correct contact details with Council so we can easily reunite you with your pet when it's found.

See Find your missing pet.

How do I find out if my animal is at the pound?

View the animals currently in Council care.

Not all animals in care are kept at the pound. Thanks to the support of the Friends of Kempsey Pound group, many pets are fostered out to local homes rather than being kept at the pound. 

If your dog or cat is in Council care, please contact Customer Service on 6566 3200 and quote the Council reference number for the animal.

You can also find advice on our Find your missing pet page.

How do I adopt an animal from the pound?

Unclaimed or surrendered dogs and cats are available for adoption - see Adopt a pet.

Do I have to keep my cat indoors at night?

For the safety of your cat and local wildlife, it is highly recommended that you keep your cat inside at night. However, this is not required by law.

Council also recommends you attach a bell to your cat’s collar to warn other animals that your cat is approaching.

Where do I report animal cruelty?

Please report neglect or cruelty to animals to the RSPCA by phoning 1300 278 3589.