Restricted, dangerous or nuisance animals

Dogs can be deemed ‘restricted’ due to their breed or via a Council order. If a dog is declared ‘dangerous’ it is based on the animal’s behaviour, irrespective of its breed.

Restricted dogs

There are several breeds of dogs including the American Pitbull Terrier which are automatically restricted – view the full list. Council may also issue a Notice of Intention to Declare a Dog to be a Restricted Dog.

You can keep a restricted dog as a pet, but it is subject to a range of strict conditions including:

  • Payment of an annual permit in addition to registration
  • The dog must be desexed
  • When at home, the dog must be kept in an enclosure built to NSW specifications (refer to section 32 of the Companion Animals Regulation 2018) and approved by Council, with a “Warning Dangerous Dog” sign clearly displayed at the front of the property
  • When in public, the dog must wear a muzzle and be leashed with a distinctive collar
  • If the dog is missing or attacks anyone, it must be reported to Council within 24 hours
  • The dog cannot be given away or sold

There are heavy fines for non-compliance, so any owner of a restricted dog should read the full requirements available on the Office of Local Government website.

Dangerous dogs

A declared dangerous dog is a dog that an authorised Council officer or a local court has deemed as dangerous because it has attacked, threatened, and/or chased a person or animal, causing serious injury or death. The full definition of a dangerous dog can be found here.Like restricted dogs, dangerous dogs are subject to a broad range of conditions – the full range of control requirements are on the Office of Local Government website.

Council can issue fines for dangerous dogs, impose restrictions on individual dogs and in extreme cases, seize an animal.

Nuisance animals

Responsible pet ownership requires not only taking care of the animal’s wellbeing but ensuring it does not impact the community.

If a dog or cat is being a nuisance, in most cases, calmly and politely raising the issue with the animal’s owner will be enough to resolve the matter. The owner may be unaware of the issue, especially if they are not at home when it is happening.

There are three primary areas where Council can act regarding nuisance animals:

  • Dog barking or cat meowing is normal, but if it becomes excessive, occurring over extended periods of time it can be reported to Council. Council requires detailed information and evidence regarding the issue. If the issue is impacting multiple neighbours, all residents should make a report.
  • Private property damage by a dog or cat can be reported to Council. Include the time/date of the incident, details of the animal and owner, and proof of the damage e.g. photos.
  • A dog which repeatedly strays onto private property can be reported to Council with a log and evidence of the issue. Dogs which are off leash in public areas (other than off-leash parks) can also be reported to Council. However, unlike for dogs, the NSW Companion Animals Regulation does not require cats to be contained to their owner’s home. Waverley Council strongly encourages cat owners to always keep their pet indoors.

If an animal is deemed a nuisance, Council can issue fines, impose restrictions on dogs and in extreme cases, seize an animal.