Responsible Pet Ownership
As a responsible pet owner you have an obligation to care for the health and well-being of your animal. Owning a pet can provide great joy and companionship but it does come with responsibility. You have a duty to ensure your pet's activities do not interfere with your neighbours or the environment. This Responsible Pet Ownership factsheet gives an overview of the responsibilities of owning a pet.
All pets have their own personality, however it is important that you select the animal that best complements your lifestyle. The type, breed, where you live, how you live, and what you want from a pet, should all be factored into your choice.
Responsible Pet Ownership Tips for Cats
- Identification - ensure your cat wears a collar and identification tag bearing your address or telephone number or by having your cat permanently identified by microchip implant could save you a lot of heartache.
- De-sexing - cats confined to their property are less likely to be hurt in fights and pick up diseases from other cats. They are also less likely to be hit by cars and annoy neighbours.
- Vaccinations - When you purchase a cat ensure you obtain a vaccination certificate to ensure its vaccinations are up to date. Cats should also have a check up with a vet once a year to ensure they are healthy and worming and vaccinations are current.
- Confinement - Cats are instinctive hunters. You can protect wildlife in your neighbourhood by confining your cat to your property and placing a bell on your cat's collar.
- Strays - Unowned cats are a significant source of nuisance in the community. Council strongly encourages people to either be a responsible owner and take the cat in or take it to the RSPCA refuge. If your neighbour has a roaming cat you can notify them with this letter.
- Are you a cat breeder, hobbyist, fosterer or own multiple cats? Council is now actively engaging all owners within the Townsville City Council region to ensure that the relevant approvals are in place in accordance with Local Law No. 2 (Animal Management) 2011. Read our fact sheet for more information.
Responsible Pet Ownership Tips for Dogs
- Barking - All dogs bark, but some barking dogs become a real neighbourhood nuisance - greatly reducing the quality of life for their neighbours and increasing neighbourhood tensions. Barking dogs is the most common animal behaviour problem Council is asked to deal with. Find out about how to manage barking or make a complaint.
- Fences and confinement - A straying dog causes distress to neighbours and the community. Dogs that are not kept safely behind a fence can risk being injured or cause injury to others. As a responsible pet owner, it is important that your fence or dog enclosures is:
- High enough so your dog can't jump over it
- Low enough so your dog can't dig under it
- Strong enough so your dog can't push it over, and
- Hole proof so your dog can't escape through it.
- Pet litter - Leaving pet litter in a public place is not only unpleasant and unhealthy, it's against the law. Council has provided dog litter bags in some public areas across Townsville including the Strand, Castle Hill, Ross River Walkway and designated off leash areas. If walking in an area where bags are not provided, you are responsible to take your own with you.
- Leashes and Exercise - Dogs must be leashed at all times in public places to help control them more easily and to increase the safety of other animals and people. Remember that many people are frightened or annoyed by dogs that are not leashed; you should always be considerate of other people. Council provides a number of off leash areas for dogs around the city. Read our fact sheet on leashes and exercise or find out where your nearest dog park is.
- Are you a dog breeder, trainer, hobbyist, fosterer or own multiple dogs? Council is now actively engaging all owners within the Townsville City Council region to ensure that the relevant approvals are in place in accordance with Local Law No. 2 (Animal Management) 2011. Read our fact sheet for more information.
There are a number of initiatives council is involved in to promote responsible pet ownership within the community. Such initiatives include:
- Hosting our Annual Pet Expo in June each year
- Regular educational displays at community events including Defence Expo, Careers Day, Seniors Day, Million Paws Walk, Cyclone Sunday
- Partnerships with local animal management allies such as veterinarians and obedience clubs
- Involvement with Australian Institute of Animal Management (AIAM)
Managing Animals in a Disaster
It is up to you to plan ahead and to prepare for the safety and welfare of your pets, livestock or other farm animals well before a natural hazard affects your home or farm. By acting early, you will avoid unnecessary danger and anxiety. Although individual needs will vary, the following advice is intended to help you decide the best plan for your circumstances and region.
Pets and Cyclones Fact Sheet (PDF, 358.1 KB)
Find out more about disaster information for yourself, your family and your pets.
The following pets have been rescued from the streets of Townsville. They have not had registration disks or any form of identification on them to allow us to return them home.
If you believe one of these pets is yours, please visit the RSPCA website or contact them immediately on 4774 5130.
You will be required to provide officers with proof of identity prior to the rescued pets being released to you.
The keeping of Livestock in the Townsville region is governed by Local Law No. 2 (Animal Management) 2011.
Livestock are administered under the same laws as all other domestic animals. These laws require animals to be kept upon their own land at all times and are not allowed to wander or stray from their enclosures. These animals are to be kept in accordance with the law and must not cause a nuisance.
Alaskan Malamute (PDF 200.4 KB)
The Alaskan Malamute is powerful, independent and strong-willed. Malamutes are usually quite dogs who bark less but do howl like wolves.
American Staffordshire Terrier (PDF 194.3 KB)
These dogs should be friendly, extremely attentive and extraordinarily devoted. They need a firm, confident, consistent owner who understands how to display proper leadership.
Australian Cattle Dog (PDF 150.2 KB)
Naturally suspicious of strangers and will protect the family and possessions with their life.
Australian Kelpie (PDF 128.4 KB)
The Kelpie is extremely alert, eager and highly intelligent and will want to be your constant companion, but must have clear defined boundaries.
Australian Shepherd (PDF 180.1 KB)
Aussies are “people” dogs that thrive on human companionship.
Australian Silky Terrier (PDF 124.9 KB)
The Australian Silky Terrier has a fine silky coat that will not shed hair and does not have a doggy smell.
Beagle (PDF 136.2 KB)
Beagles need much more exercise than most owners give them which are why you see so many Beagles overweight.
Bichon Frise (PDF 317.3 KB)
The Bichon is a small sturdy white powder puff. The breed is considered to be “non-allergenic” by many people, and so may be the ideal dog for people with allergy problems.
Bloodhound (PDF 166.0 KB)
The Bloodhound is very stubborn, disobedient and is a “pack hound” and therefore does not like to live alone.
Border Collie (PDF 174.1 KB)
Border Collies are a loyal, loving family pet that is highly intelligent, with an instinctive tendency to work and is readily responsive to training.