Fences and roaming

Owning a pet is both a basic right in our community and a serious responsibility. So if you intend to own a dog, you have to take responsibility for confining it to your property.

Fences and gates protect your dog from the dangers of roaming, stop it causing a nuisance in your neighbourhood, and ensure your pet doesn’t hurt other animals or people.

While many people keep dogs as a deterrent for unauthorised entry to their property, it is important that people legally passing near properties housing dogs, are protected from them.

A straying dog causes distress to neighbours and the community. Dogs that are not kept safely behind a fence can risk being injured or causing injury to others.

They become a traffic hazard for motorists, are a bite risk to innocent people, can display territorial aggression, are an annoyance to other animals in the community and can cause property damage.

Irresponsible owners will be liable for any injuries or damage that their dog causes.

Fencing requirements

Having an adequately sized fence for your dog protects both your dog and your neighbourhood. As a responsible pet owner, it is important to ensure that your fence or dog enclosure is:

  • High enough that your dog can’t jump over
  • Low enough that your dog can’t dig under
  • Strong enough that your dog can’t push it over, and
  • Hole proof so that your dog can’t escape through it

Community rights

People in the community have a right to live without interference from other people's pets.  Unaccompanied animals roaming the streets are at risk and all residents have a right and responsibility to have them rescued and either taken to a refuge or returned to their owners.

When council finds a roaming dog, the dog is taken to the Animal Management Centre (AMC), if registered or microchipped the owner will be contacted and the dog will be kept for 5 days. If it is not microchipped or wearing registration tag the dog is kept for 3 days.

When a dog is taken to the AMC, everything reasonably possible is done to contact the owners of a registered dog.

Rescue and recovery

Council provides a rescue and refuge service for the community. This service must be conducted on a user pays basis. The cost of releasing a dog from the AMC varies from depending on whether the dog is registered or not and the number of times the dog has been previously rescued and released.

The fees incorporate the cost of the rescue and transportation to the AMC. If the rescued dog is not registered, the release fee will include registration for the current year.

Owners are also charged a fee to cover food and care for every day their dog has been given refuge.


Roaming also increases the amount of territory your pet considers their own (perhaps to your entire street or as far as the dog can see) and this means they are more likely to challenge any animal or person they consider an intruder within this extended territory.

This obviously may increase nuisance barking and the potential for your pet to be involved in an attack.