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Ranger services and animals in the hilltops

Contact Details:

To contact our Ranger please call 1300 445 586 between 8.30am to 5pm on weekdays. 

No after hours number, please ring the police 6382 8199.

Hilltops Council recognises that many people keep and enjoy the companionship of various kinds of pets. 

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world.  For most of us, our pets are much-loved members of our families. 

There are real benefits associated with pet ownership – socially, physically and mentally – however pet ownership can also be a common cause of complaint and conflict. Pet ownership should be considered a privilege and brings with it several responsibilities. 

To ensure pets are not a nuisance to the community or other animals, owners are required to make sure  when keeping dogs and cats they are managed so they do not impact on your neighbours.  Companion Animals Act 1998. 

We love your furry friends but please make sure they are registered and tagged so we can easily contact you if they get lost. 

For any queries relating to the keeping of pets in the Hilltops Council area, or for animal shelter inquiries, please contact Council on 1300HILLTOPS /1300 445 586. No after-hours service, please ring the police 6382 8199.

In addition to your responsibilities relating to microchipping and registering your dog or cat, updating your dog or cat’s details on the NSW Companion Animals Register, ensuring that your dog or cat does not threaten or harm a person or animal and ensuring that your dog or cat does not cause a nuisance, you have other responsibilities as a pet owner. 

We have listed some points in the Responsible Companion Animal Ownership Brochure (see link below), however more information can be found on the Office of Local Government website. 

 Further information can also be found on our social media pages:

Click here to see Hilltops Council Facebook page 

Click here to see Hilltops Council Pound Facebook page 

About our Rangers

Council’s Rangers undertake a wide range of duties, including: 

  • Animal control 
  • Daily operation and maintenance of the pound 
  • Regulation of companion animals and off-leash areas 
  • Abandoned vehicles and other items 
  • Issuing infringement notices 
  • General reporting of environmental health issues e.g. air, water and noise pollution and illegal dumping incidents 
  • Regular patrols of parks and reserves in relation to illegal camping and compliance with council policy and relevant laws 
  • Illegal signage control 
  • Investigating other incidents as required 
  • Parking patrols 
  • Council responds to complaints and actively patrols for animals straying in public places. 
  • Rangers do not pick up stray dogs after hours. 

    Animals can only be released between the hours of 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday (Public Holidays excluded) by contacting Council on 1300HILLTOPS /1300 445 586 and arranging a mutually convenient time.

    No after hours number, please ring the police 6382 8199 

    Pound Information/ Registration Fees

    Hilltops Pound information 

    Council aims to return as many companion animals to their owners as possible, however, in some circumstances animals are impounded. 

    If your animal is impounded it will be kept for at least the mandatory time period required under the Companion Animals Act, which is 14 days if the animal is identified and 7 days if there is no identification on the animal. 

    After that period, all animals that are suitable for re-homing are rehomed through rescue agencies or the Hilltops Pound Facebook page. 

    Fees are as follows: 

    • Release Fee: first offence $75
    • Release Fee: repeat offence $185.00 per event
    • Sale of Impounded Companion animal: $0- per animal
    • Surrender fee Dog: $95 per animal
    • Surrender fee Cat: $62.00 per animal
    • Sustenance fee Dogs/Cats first day or part day:  $25.00 per day
    • Sustenance fee Dogs/Cats subsequent days: $15.00 per day
    • Microchip: $55 per animal

    Companion Animals Act 1998 – Identification 

    Identification is essential to be able to reunite owners with lost pets, identify offending animals and to communicate with pet owners. 

    The Companion Animals Act 1998 requires that all companion animals are: 

    • Microchipped at 12 weeks or prior to sale (whichever occurs first), and 
    • Registered on the Companion Animals Register by 6 months of age. 

    Owners are also required to notify certain changes and events such as change of ownership and address, throughout the course of the pets’ life and ultimately when a registered pet passes away. 

    From 1 July 2021, the NSW Government introduced free lifetime registration for rescue pets adopted from council pounds, animal shelters and rehoming organisations. 

    • Microchip fee (By Council’s Authorised Implanter) excludes registration $55.00 
    • Microchip fee (Veterinarian) – excluding registration $40.00 + Vet Fees 

    Companion Animals Act – Registration Fees 

    As per Companion Animals Act-  Lifetime registration fees for Cat or Dog. Council collect these fees on behalf of Office of Local Government, fees re updated as notified.  

    Note 1 – An eligible pensioner is a person in receipt of the aged pension, widow pension or disability pension  

    • Dog not desexed kept by recognised breeder for breeding purposes $78.00 per animal
    • Desexed Animal (eligible pensioner owner) $34.00 per animal
    • Dog Desexed (Under 6 months of age) $78.00 per animal
    • Cat Desexed (under 12 weeks of age) $68.00
    • Dog Desexed (after 6 months or older) $262.00
    • Cat Desexed or Not desexed over 12 weeks age $68.00
    • Dog or Cat Desexed – Rehomed by eligible Pound/Shelter $0
    • Late fee – registration fee not paid 28 days after the date on which it is required to be registered (12 weeks old or from date sold) $22.00

    Permit Fees – Companion Animal 

    Release fees must be paid before any animal can be released. If the animal is not registered, it must be microchipped and registered as part of the release. Sustenance Fees are in addition to deterrent fees.  

    • Additional Late fee – if not completed within 28 days of the required time $22.00
    • Cat not desexed by relevant age – 4 months $96.00 per Animal
    • Dangerous Dog $230.00 per Animal
    • Restricted Dog $230.00 per Animal

    Impound and Release Fees – Stock  & other Animals 

    • Release Fee – items other than stock (signage, push bike etc) $10- per item
    • Surrender fee Dog $95.00
    • Surrender fee Cat $62.00
    • Ranger Call out $104.98


    • Impound Fee – First Animal – small  (sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas) $30 per event
    • Impound fee -per animal small (sheep, goats, pigs, alpacas) $4 per animal
    • Sustenance fee (daily)  (sheep, goats, pigs alpacas) min fee $8- per animal
    • Travelling/Transport Carrier Cost: Full cost recovery per animal
    • Impound Fee – Large Livestock (cattle, camels, donkeys and horses) – First Animal  -$46.00
    • Impound Fee – Large Livestock (cattle, camels, donkeys and horses) – subsequent animal $20.00
    • Release Fee – (second within a 12 month period) $185.00
    • Release Fee – (three or more times within a 12 month period) $370.00


    • Impound Fee –  Dogs and Cats – First Two days or part there of  $165.00
    • Impound Fees – Dogs and Cats – Subsequent Days $55.00
    • Release Fee – Dogs and Cats $75.00

    Dangerous/Restricted Dog Compliance 

    Compliance Certificate for Dangerous /Restricted Dog Enclosure $150.00

    Assess/Review/Check Inspection each Dog Enclosure as per Ranger Hourly Call out rate of $104.98

    Penalty offences 

    As per the Companion Animals Regulations – Schedule 1 

    Lost and Found pets

    Lost pets 

    If your companion animal is missing you should contact Council and provide a description of your pet, where and when it was last seen, whether the animal is microchipped and provide your contact details. Also, please let us know if you have found your pet before we do. 

    You can check at our Hilltops Impounding Facility Facebook page for an updated list of unidentified ‘Found’ Animals. 

    Ensuring your pet is microchipped and the relevant details are up to date on the NSW Pet Register will greatly enhance the possibility of the safe return of your pet. 

    Found Dogs/Cats 

    If the animal is injured, take it to the nearest vet or contact Council to arrange transport to the vet (Monday to Friday between 8.30am-5.00pm). 

    If the animal isn’t injured check to see if there is a tag with a phone number. If there isn’t an identification tag available, take to the nearest vet or the Hilltops Council, where its microchip can be scanned and owners contacted to arrange collection. 

    If you are unable to transport the dog or cat, contact Council to arrange for the dog/cat to be picked up (Monday to Friday between 8.30am-5.00pm). 

    If you are unable to approach or contain an animal, contact Council. Never put yourself at risk if you are unsure of an animal as even small or seemingly friendly dogs may bite when frightened. 

    If you have found any other type of animal please contact RSPCA NSWAWL NSW or WIRES. 

    Please note: If you have found a dog or cat, you may make your own enquiries to find the owner such as asking neighbours, contacting the vets or the lost and found segment on your local radio stations. If you fail to find the owner within 72 hours, the animal must be turned over to Council so that further attempts can be made to locate the owner.


    Stock or other animals 

    If you have lost stock or another animal, please contact Ranger Services on 1300HILLTOPS /1300 445 586 or the Police. 

    If you have found stock or if stock is causing a safety hazard such as being unattended on a road, please contact Ranger Services immediately on 1300 445 586 or the Police. 

    If an animal has trespassed onto your property it is recommended that you contact your neighbours to identify the owner. The Riverina Local Land Services may also be able to assist if the animal is tagged. 

    If you have not been able to identify the owner, Council may be able to assist you in finding the owner or you may privately impound the animal at your expense. 


    Off Leash Areas 

    Young provides a fenced off-leash area which can be found in the south east portion of the Young Showground facility in the top corner of Murringo and McDonnell’s Roads. The facility, being accessed via the showground, is equipped with dog owner seating and appropriate waste disposal bags to pick up after your dog. 

    Young provides a non-fenced off-leash area at Jack Howards Park on Whiteman Avenue. 

    Boorowa provides an off-leash area on the Cowra Rd, the north side of the Boorowa River. 

    Off-leash areas in Harden are generally all areas outside of the town and village 60 km/h road speed signs. All dogs within the township areas should be on a leash when not on their owner’s property. 

    In all other parts of the area (including parks and ovals) you must have your pet under effective control by way of a leash. 


    Barking dogs 

    Dogs bark for a variety of reasons – when they scared or lonely, or sometimes it is just their way of saying hello. 

    When a dog’s barking becomes excessive however, it can cause stress and frustration for those living close by. 

    If you have a barking dog complaint, Council recommends that you first try and contact the dog’s owners to talk to them about your problem.  The owner might not realise that their dog is barking excessively, and would be happy to work with you to come to a solution. 

    Should talking to the owner not be an option, or if the problem is not solved after doing this, you can send your complaint in writing to Council. On receipt of a barking dog complaint, Council will write a letter advising the dog’s owners that a complaint has been received. The owners will be asked to take steps to address the problem, and mitigate the need for any further action by Council. 

    If these initial attempts to manage nuisance barking are unsuccessful, you will be required to keep a 28 day Barking Dog Diary for submission to Council. 

    Returned diaries will be reviewed to determine whether further action is warranted. If nuisance barking is identified, further investigations will take place. If no further action is required, the complainant will be notified in writing. 

    Barking Dog Information Pack 

    Dogs are present in most neighbourhoods across Australia, and have an important role in our society. From companions to playmates, dogs are valued and, in most cases, loved by their owners. Council recognises and supports responsible pet ownership. 

    Barking is one of the ways that dogs communicate. It can signify playfulness, distress, danger or an alert to their discomfort. It is quite normal for dogs to bark and barking is usually not considered a nuisance or a breach of the Companion Animals Act 1998. 

    However, on occasions, some dogs do cause a nuisance through excessive and continuous barking. Nuisance barking is dealt with under Section 32A of the Companion Animals Act 1998. 

    The Companion Animals Act 1998 provides that the lawful responsibility lies with the owner of the dog. This means that they must ensure that the dog does not create noise by barking or otherwise, to such an extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises. 

    Nuisance barking can cause people to lose sleep, restrict their movements around a property, and disturb the quiet enjoyment of the home. 

    There are many factors that may be triggering this type of barking. Some of the possible causes include: 

    • Being chained to a fixed point without enough room to move or being kept in a confined space; 
    • Being provoked, deliberately or unintentionally, by people, roaming dogs or other animals; 
    • Being hungry, thirsty, neglected or being on the wrong diet; 
    • Kept in circumstances that are unsuitable for that particular breed; and/or 
    • A dog that is untrained, lonely or sick. 

    The following points may assist in controlling alleged nuisance barking: 

    • Dogs need enough room to move. A dog should not be left on a fixed chain for long periods of time. If the dog has to be chained, a running chain should be used; 
    • Dogs need regular exercise, according to their breed and size; 
    • Dogs need a place of their own. This can be a well-ventilated kennel or an indoor area; 
    • Dogs need to be provided with adequate shelter, water and food; 
    • Remove the direct line of sight between the dog and children or other animals. Looking at these things or other stimuli may provoke barking; 
    • Take the dog to a recognised dog trainer to discourage bad habits; 
    • Provide noise insulation for the kennel; 
    • Seek advice from your vet, your dog may be sick; and/or 
    • Use a citronella collar. 

    In the case where nuisance barking is occurring at a property within a residential area, it is reasonable to assume that there would be numerous people affected, and Council would receive complaints from multiple properties. 

    Effectively dealing with nuisance barking 

    There are several options to effectively deal with nuisance barking in your neighbourhood.
    These include: 

    1. Talk to the owner of the dog. The dog’s owner may not realise that their dog is bothering you, and in many cases, will be happy to work with you to solve the problem. 
    2. Mediation. If, after talking to the owner, the problem persists, you should contact the Community Justice Centre (CJC). These specialised, government-funded, independent centres specialise in settling disputes between neighbours without entering into a complicated legal process. Mediation is where you meet with the dog’s owner and a CJC representative to try to solve the problem.This process will not cost you any money and has a 95 per cent success rate.
      You can contact the nearest Community Justice Centre via email:   or Telephone: Freecall 1800 990 777 
    3. Request further action by council. If mediation is unsuccessful and the nuisance barking is continuing, you may request a barking dog investigation from Council’s Ranger Services.Council’s investigation will be under the provisions of Section 32A of the Companion Animals Act 1998. The investigation will focus on determining the level of nuisance barking and implementing the appropriate action. Please note that council does not action anonymous complaints about nuisance barking. 

    Barking Dog Diary 

    If you do choose to involve Council, on receipt of your initial complaint you will need to provide Hilltops Council with the address of the barking dog.  

    Before council can determine the appropriate action, the level of the nuisance must be determined and documented. To facilitate this process you will be required to compile a Barking Dog Diary for a period of 28 days.

    Hilltops Council will provide residents with a Barking Dog Diary, please phone 1300 445 586 to arrange this service.

    Once the diary has been completed you should return it to Council:
    Attn: Ranger Services
    Hilltops Council
    189 Boorowa Street
    Young NSW 2594 

    This diary will then be assessed and considered to determine the level of disturbance. 

    If the extent and degree of barking is deemed to be a nuisance, Council will conduct further investigations. 


    Barking Dogs – Owners 

    If your dog is a nuisance barker, here are some worthwhile strategies to attempt: 

    • Regular exercise. 
    • Socialising your dog with other dogs. 
    • Provide chew toys for stimulation. 
    • Provide bones. 
    • Investigate what sets the dog off. 
    • Make your arrivals and departures from the house discreet. 
    • Try general training to develop your communication with your dog. 
    • Consider that there may be a medical cause. 
    • Do not use punishment-oriented training for the problem as it tends to only silence the dog while you are at home. 
    • Ensuring your dog has access to the essentials; adequate food, water and shelter. 

    If it is your neighbour’s dog that is the offender: 

    • Let your neighbour know of the problem as they may not be aware. 
    • Keep a detailed diary. 
    • Try to resolve the dispute by using the Community Justice Centre on 1800 990 777 instead of costly legal processes. 


    Keeping of dogs 

    If you are a dog owner, you are responsible for controlling your animal to ensure that reasonable conditions within your neighbourhood are maintained. 

    Keeping your dog on your property 

    As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you prevent your dog or dogs from escaping your property. You must take all reasonable precautions to prevent your dog from roaming off your property. 

    Under section 12A of the Companion Animals Act 1998, it is an offence if you don’t make efforts to prevent your dog from leaving your property. 

    Council can issue a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) if you have not taken reasonable precautions to prevent your dog from roaming. 

    Effective control 

    It is also your responsibility to ensure that your dog or dogs are always under effective control when in a public place. This means that your dog should be kept on a leash when off your property. 

    Under section 13(2) of the Companion Animals Act 1998, it is an offence of the owner of a dog not to be under effective control. Failure to have your dog under effective control while in a public area may result in a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN). 


    Dog attacks 

    If your dog rushes at, harasses, chases, bites, attacks, or kills another companion animal or stock, you as the owner, or if someone else oversees the dog at the time, are responsible for the dog’s actions and are guilty of an offence. 

    Any resulting injury or damage from a dog attack may also result in civil action where the owner of the animals or victim may seek monetary compensation or criminal charges. 

    Under section 16 of the Companion Animals Act 1998, Council can issue the owner or person in charge of the dog at the time an on the spot PIN. Council also has options to declare your dog or dogs to be a ‘dangerous’ or ‘menacing dog’. 



    Please remember that all companion animals must be microchipped at 12 weeks of age or at point of sale or exchange (whichever comes first). Registration on the Companion Animals Register is required when your dog is 6 months old. 

    A dog must have a collar around its neck and attached to the collar must be a tag which shows the name of the dog and the address or telephone number of the owner. 

    If you fail to have your dog microchipped and registered (and with collar and tag) when required, Council may issue PIN’s to enforce compliance. 


    Council encourages cat owners to: 

    • Desex your cat to prevent unwanted litters. 
    • Keep your cat indoors at night. 
    • Use outdoor cat enclosures. 
    • Place bells on your cat’s collar to warn wildlife. 
    • Identify your cat with a collar, tag and micro-chip as this is a legal requirement. 

    Council encourages the public not to feed feral cats or any cats they do not own themselves. 

    Cat owners have a responsibility to their cat to ensure it is housed, fed and managed to ensure their health and welfare. 

    The community often have divided opinions about cats – they can be seen as either a valued pet/friend or as a pest. Irresponsible ownership can not only jeopardise your cat’s safety but it can further tarnish the reputation of the cat when it is simply behaving as a cat does naturally. 

    This information is designed to help cat owners and the general public become more aware of the ways that we as a community can all work together to manage our companion animal cats in the best possible way.  


    Roaming cats 

    Cats are known to have no boundaries and traditionally have roamed the neighbourhood for many years. However, there are several benefits to keeping cats indoors, including: 

    • Cats do not have any road sense, and although many do cross roads successfully, there is a significant risk of your cat being injured in traffic. 
    • Hunting is a natural behaviour for a cat. By keeping your cat inside you can prevent your cat from hunting native wildlife. At least keep your cat inside between dusk and dawn when wildlife is most at risk. 
    • Outdoor cats are easily involved in cat fights especially around mating season. Cat fights can cause injuries which need to be treated by a veterinarian, and can also lead to noise complaints. 
    • Roaming cats are in danger of contracting health-related viruses which can also result in death. 
    • Studies have been conducted that show that indoor cats lead a healthier and longer life than outdoor cats. 


    Identification – microchipping and registration, collars & tags 

    Please remember that all cats born after July 1999 must be microchipped at 12 weeks of age or at point of sale or exchange (whichever comes first), and registered on the Companion Animals Register by six months of age. 

    There are some exemptions for cats owned before July 1999, but these cats must still be able to be identified so that any local authority can ascertain the name of the cat and the address or telephone number of the owner of the cat. This could be through a cat collar with a tag, or a microchip. 


    Cats are prohibited in some public places 

    Cats are prohibited from food preparation and consumption areas in a public place. 


    Desexing your cat 

    Cats can be desexed as young as eight weeks of age. It is important to desex young cats before they reach sexual maturity. Young females can become pregnant at the age of four months. Desexing male cats before three months of age prevents anti-social behaviour such as urine spraying in and around your house and aggression. 


    Nuisance cats 

    There is no law prohibiting cats from roaming but cat owners need to be aware that if their cat roams onto private property and causes damage, the person on that property can make a complaint to Council in regard to a nuisance cat if the problem persists. This also relates to any cat that makes a noise that persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person in any other premises. 


    Stray cats 

    As cats roam, Hilltops Council is careful when requested to deal with ‘stray’ cats as it is often difficult to determine a stray from a pet. If you believe you have a stray cat around your home you should first ensure that it is not owned by one of your neighbours. 


    Feral/nuisance cats 

     Should a cat be lawfully seized and where the owner can be identified the cat will be returned to its owner and advice given to prevent the nuisance behaviour. Unidentified cats will be delivered to Council’s pound. 

    Nuisance animals

    Barking dogs are the most common nuisance behaviour which Council Rangers respond to. Information can be found in the ‘DOGS’ tab above. 

    Other nuisance behaviours may include repeatedly straying animals, destructive cats, crowing roosters or smelly horses. 

    With all nuisance behaviours it is recommended that you speak with the animal’s owner to resolve the problem before involving Council. 


    Roosters are not recommended to be kept in residential areas due to the offensive noise they can create.  Owners are encouraged to relocate or surrender them to prevent further action being taken. 



    Birds kept in a healthy and clean manner are not usually an issue for neighbours. There are standards that can be enforced under Schedule 2 of the Local Government Regulation. 


    Horses and Pigs 

    There are standards that can be enforced under Schedule 2 of the Local Government Regulation.  Noise, air, land and or water pollution can also be enforced under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act. 

    It is not recommended to keep horses in residential areas as it states in the regulations that horses should not be kept within 9 meters of a dwelling or residential building. 

    The standards and regulations for the keeping of horses are available to view online here. 

    There is also information about keeping horses on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website here. 



    Given the rural area, keeping sheep in the Hilltops Local Government Area, even in residential areas can be an attractive idea. But careful consideration before keeping sheep in a residential area should be encouraged. 

    Keeping animals in urban areas requires consideration by the owners of the impact of animals on their neighbours. They should be kept in a manner which does not: 

    • Create unclean or unhealthy conditions for people or the animals; 
    • Attract or provide a haven for vermin; 
    • Create offensive noise or odours; 
    • Cause a drainage or dust nuisance; 
    • Create waste or pollution problems; 
    • Create an unreasonable annoyance to neighbouring residents; 
    • Cause nuisance due to flies, lice, fleas or other pests and parasites. 

    A Local Government Order can be issued where sheep are being kept inappropriately. Council will investigate complaints about noise, potential health issues, and other problems. 



    Council encourages sustainable living and keeping poultry can be an important part of a sustainable household. 

    If you have the space, some laying hens in the backyard can be a lot of fun, providing you with fresh eggs and a perfect use for kitchen peelings and garden waste. You also end up with some useful fertilizer to pop on the vegetable garden, or add to the compost heap. 

     Requirements & Specifications 

    There are some regulations setting out the legal requirements for keeping poultry. 

    Provided your hen house meets the requirement of the Exempt & Complying Development Codes, you will not need to get approval from Council. The full list of specifications can be obtained from Exempt and Complying Development Code 

    If these guidelines cannot be met, you will need the approval of Council. 

    There are also a few common-sense aspects to keeping hens as well: 

    • Roosters and neighbours don’t mix. At Council, we don’t get many complaints about hens, but we certainly deal with some neighbour disputes about noisy roosters. Our advice if you live in town is: don’t have a rooster. 
    • Talk to your neighbours before buying hens and think about them when establishing the hen house. It really is best, unless the neighbours don’t mind, not to have your chooks running up to the boundary fence. The hen house should be more than 3 metres from the boundary. 
    • In residential areas, the hen house should be located in the rear yard, house no more than 10 fowls or poultry, be no higher than 3 metres above ground level, and not have a floor area greater than 15 square metres. 
    • Some properties in the Council area have private covenants prohibiting the keeping of poultry. You would have to look at your title documents or check with your solicitor to see if you are affected by a private covenant. 
    • Keep your hen house clean to discourage vermin and odours, the roof water must be disposed of without causing a nuisance to neighbours. 


    The Local Government Act (General) Regulation 2005 schedule 2 relates to poultry and that includes fowls like laying hens, peacocks & bantams as well as poultry other than fowls like ducks, pheasants, turkeys & geese. 

    Fines/ Enforcement 

    Under the NSW Companion Animals Act, 1998 fines can be issued for the following. Each fine is set by the State Debt Recovery Office. 

    • Unleashed dog in a public place. 
    • Dog not wearing a collar and ID tag in public. 
    • Animal not permanently identified/microchipped. 
    • Selling an animal not permanently identified. 
    • Animal not registered. 
    • Dogs that are declared dangerous or restricted. 
    • Failure to remove faeces. 
    • Not notifying change in registration ID. 
    • Dog in prohibited place*. 
    • Cat in prohibited place*. 
    • Cat not wearing an ID tag 

    *Prohibited places include, school/preschool/kindergarten grounds, shopping centres, public-bathing areas, food preparation areas, sporting fields, playgrounds and wildlife protection areas. 

    Constant roaming of animals, persistent barking, chasing of people, causing damage to other people’s property or placing the health of people or animals at risk are all reasonable offences for a control order to be issued to stop nuisance behaviour, dangerous dogs and menacing dogs. 

    A control order is in place for 6 months and is a legal restriction. If the owner fails to stop the animal from causing the nuisance, or doesn’t comply with guidelines, the owner is in breach of the order. An on the spot fine for the breach can be given to the owner. 


    Lost, stray or noisy animals 

    Whether your pet is a dog, cat, rooster, horse or anything with feathers, fur or scales it is your responsibility as a pet owner to keep pets secure and prevent them from causing a nuisance to others. 

    Requests may be lodged for Ranger Services to assist with lost, stray, noisy or nuisance animals where other attempts have failed. 

    It is recommended that if an animal is causing an issue that you speak with the animal’s owner directly in the first instance so that they are aware of the problem and can take steps to reduce the problem without Council being involved. 

    Animal welfare and cruelty

    Council is involved with many aspects of the keeping of animals throughout the Hilltops Local Government Area, although animal cruelty and welfare is not under Councils authority. Council have no power or authority to intervene or act in relation to Animal cruelty, neglect or welfare issues 

    If you suspect or witness cruelty to an animal, you should directly contact one of the animal cruelty enforcement agencies. These agencies are: 

    RSPCA, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (02) 9770 7555 or 1300 278 358. Animal cruelty complaints can be made online to the RSPCA  here. 


    OR your local police station: 

    YOUNG  (02) 6382 8199  

    HARDEN (02) 6381 3720 

    BOOROWA (02) 6381 3700 

    JUGIONG (02) 6945 4206 

    BINALONG (02) 6118 1220 

    KOORAWATHA (02) 6286 4939 

     Police Assistance Line on 131 444. 

    What is animal cruelty? 

    • Animals which are exposed to extreme heat or cold (e.g. animals left in cars), or which are not adequately sheltered. 
    • Animals which are suffering from hunger or thirst. 
    • Animals which are hurt or abused. 
    • Animals which are left untreated following an injury or illness. 
    • Animals which are abandoned or which do not receive regular care. 
    • Animals for which their environment is not suited to their needs through size, breed, infirmity etc. 
    • Animals which are used to perform an illegal activity, e.g. where dogs or game cocks are encouraged to fight each other. 


    Animal welfare-related responsibilities of the animal owner; 

    • Always have access to clean/cool water for your pet and provide an appropriate, balanced diet. 
    • Ensure your pet’s good health with regular veterinary check-ups, worming, tick and flea treatments. 
    • Provide adequate shelter that is suitable for all weather conditions for your pet at all times. 
    • Ensure that your pet is well socialised, trained and exercised. 
    • If you are not going to breed, we strongly encourage you to have your animals desexed (permanently sterilised) to prevent unwanted litters. 
    • Make sure that your pet is looked after when you go away. If you are leaving your pet in a cattery or kennel, make sure that the cattery or kennel complies with the NSW Animal Welfare Code of Practice No 5 – Dogs and Cats in Animal Boarding Establishments. 

    If you neglect your pet’s basic welfare needs, you may be liable for fines and/or imprisonment under animal welfare and cruelty related legislation, including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (General) Regulation 2006 and relevant animal welfare codes of practice. 

    These are administered by the Department of Primary Industries and enforced by NSW Police, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) New South Wales inspectors and Animal Welfare League NSW inspectors. 

    Injured Native Wildlife 

    WIRES (Wildlife Information and Rescue Service) NSW WIRES Rescue Line: 13 000 WIRES or 13 00 094 737. If you have found a sick, injured or orphaned native animal in NSW and you need urgent rescue assistance, please phone the WIRES Rescue Line and the team will assist you as quickly as possible. 

    Native and Non-Domestic Animals


    The Hilltops region is home to a number of snake species. We encourage residents to keep the area around their house free from rubbish, ensure your garden is well maintained and keep your grass short. 

    Residents must be aware of the potential danger of snakes, particularly in the warmer months. Snakes are most active in warm weather and are often found in bushy areas. 

    If you do see a snake, do not approach it, attempt to kill it or try to capture it. 

    All native snakes in NSW are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. 

    More information about native snakes can be obtained on the NSW Planning, Industry and Environment website. 

    If you need to have a snake removed, please contact Wildcare on (02) 6299 1966 


    Bee swarms 

    If you have a bee swarm in your backyard or local area please do not try and kill or interfere with the bees, you are likely to anger the bees and get stung. The bees will not harm you if they are left alone. 

    Remember the important role bees play in the pollination of agricultural crops, such as many of our nuts, fruit and vegetables. 

    Contact a beekeeper to have the swarm removed and placed in a beehive. To find a local bee collector, please go to put in your postcode, this will then bring up a contact number for a registered bee collector. 


    European Wasps 

    The European wasp (Vespula germanica) is one of the most invasive insect pests globally, with major incursions in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, the USA and Canada. Because this social wasp species thrives in suburbia as well as wilderness areas. 

    The European wasp has gradually spread through our region since first being documented in Canberra in 1984. It’s renowned for its painful sting, and unlike bees, European wasps are able to sting repeatedly. 

    European wasps are bright yellow and black, with bright yellow legs. They are predominantly black on their front with bright yellow markings, and bright yellow on their back with black stripes, and black dots between the stripes down each side of the abdomen, sometimes joining the stripes. 

    European wasp nests occur primarily in the ground and are easily sighted due to the constant wasp activity above the nest, although the entrance hole may be well hidden. Nests can also be found in retaining walls, rockeries, hollows of trees, walls cavities and vents and the roof eaves of buildings. 

    You can destroy the occasional wasp by using a burst of fly spray. You should NEVER attempt to treat greater wasp numbers or the nests as it can be home to many thousands of wasps, which are fiercely protective of their nest. 

    European wasps are attracted to sweet drinks, food, insects, and pet food. Covering the food will reduce the risk of being stung. 

    If stung, the recommended first aid for a wasp sting is an ice pack to reduce that pain and swelling. However, if someone is stung in the mouth, has difficulty breathing, or develops an itchy rash, seek medical help immediately. 

    If you find a European wasp nest on public property, please contact us to report it. Residents are encouraged to contact a professional pest controller to safely manage wasps on your property. 

    Please see the Department of Primary Industries European Wasp Fact Sheet for further information. 


    Native animals 

    Contact WIRES on 1300 WIRES (1300 094 737)