The department is responsible for administering the Cat Act 2011 (the Cat Act) and the Dog Act 1976 (the Dog Act). The acts and associated regulations apply throughout Western Australia.
The Cat Act requires the identification, registration and sterilisation of domestic cats, and gives local governments the power to administer and enforce the legislation. The legislation, which took full effect in November 2013, provides for better management
of the unwanted impacts of cats on the community and the environment, and encourages responsible cat ownership. Local governments enforce and administer the Cat Act. Members of the public with queries about registration, microchipping and sterilisation
should contact their local government.
The department is responsible for ensuring that the Cat Act is up to date and fit for purpose. The Cat Act requires the identification, registration and sterilisation of domestic cats, and gives local governments the power to administer and enforce the
Local governments enact local laws and are responsible for enforcing the Cat Act. Local laws enacted by a local government apply only to the area administered by that local government and are not statewide laws. Information about local laws relating
to cats can be obtained from the relevant local government along with information about microchipping, sterilisation, registration and stray cats.
The Dog Act contains a range of measures to improve community safety, encourage responsible dog ownership, enable nuisance behaviour to be more effectively dealt with and to recognise assistance dogs. The Dog Act requires that all dogs must be microchipped.
The Dog Act recognises assistance dogs that are commonly used by people with a disability. The department has responsibility for approving assistance dogs that have not been trained by a recognised organisation. The department also approves applications
to become an independent Public Access Test Assessor.
The legal rights and responsibilities of dog owners are outlined in the Dog Act, the Dog Regulations 2013 and in local government local laws. Collectively, these laws provide for the registration, ownership and control of dogs in Western Australia.
Local governments are responsible for enforcing the Dog Act within their respective districts. You can contact your local government if you have any queries about registration, microchipping, sterilisation or nuisance barking.
Dogs are an important part of many Western Australian families and promoting responsible dog ownership and the future health and welfare of dogs is a key priority for the State Government.
People with assistance dogs trained by accredited organisations are automatically granted public access rights under the Dog Act 1976. Public access rights for other assistance dogs may be granted on application to the department. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that there is a need for an assistance dog and that the dog meets the specified training criteria.
In WA, racing greyhounds are registered with Racing and Wagering Western Australia.
When greyhounds are retired from racing, they are deregistered and can be adopted as pets through the Greyhounds as Pets program, or through other animal rescue and adoption organisations.
All dogs bark but some barking dogs become a nuisance. Excessive barking is one of the most disruptive neighbourhood issues and requires immediate attention.
It is important to try and determine why your dog is barking. Dogs may bark because they are:
Check to see if your dog:
Excessive barking is more common with some breeds than others.
Some breeds — such as cattle dogs, kelpies, border collies and German shepherds — were originally bred to work on farms and may have difficulty living in a suburban backyard or indoors.
You should carefully select a breed that is suitable for your lifestyle. Long walks on a lead may not be enough to keep some dogs occupied. They may become barkers due to boredom or frustration.
To help ensure that your dog does not become bored, make sure it has plenty to do when left alone. For example:
Dogs are social animals and they may resort to inappropriate behaviour as a means of seeking attention. Ensure that you spend time each day communicating and playing with your dog. If possible, allow the dog to rest beside you when you are present in
Many dogs will bark if a person or animal is near their territory. To help prevent your dog barking at things it can see beyond the fence, you may like to:
There is no quick fix or easy solution to problem barking. Don’t hit or yell at the dog as this may cause other behaviour problems. Instead:
Dog owners are often not aware of their dog’s barking, since it usually happens when the owner is not on the property.
Local governments are responsible for enforcing the nuisance provisions of the Dog Act 1976 and each local government may take a different approach to dealing with complaints.
In the first instance, rangers need to be satisfied that a nuisance is being created.
They can do this by talking to neighbours, observing behaviour, using a count collar or asking you to keep records.
If the barking continues and further complaints are lodged, the ranger may issue a noise abatement notice which requires the owner to take action to abate the noise. The notice has effect for 6 months.
If the owner does not comply with the notice, they may be issued an infringement notice of $200 or be prosecuted in court for up to $5000.
Higher penalties may be applicable if the dog is a dangerous dog.
If a false report is made for whatever reason, you can take civil action against the complainant in court for making a false declaration.
Local governments enact local laws and are
responsible for enforcement of the Dog Act. Local laws enacted by a
local government apply only to the area administered by that local
government and are not State-wide laws. Information about local laws
relating to dogs can be obtained from the relevant
local government, as well as information about registration, microchipping, sterilisation, dangerous dogs, barking dogs, and exercise areas.
Do not submit enquiries with this form.