Dog Ownership, What you need to know!  Cat Ownership - What you need to know!

The Shire of Carnarvon encourages responsible pet ownership and enforces cat and dog ownership guidelines as stated in the Dog Act 1976, Dog Regulations 2013, Shire of Carnarvon Dogs Local Law 2021, Cat Act 2011 and the Shire of Carnarvon Cats Local Law 2021.

Rangers may impose on-the-spot fines and impound dogs for breaches of the Dog and Cat Acts. As of 1 November 2013, all domestic cats in Western Australia, over six months of age, need to be sterilised, micro-chipped and registered with their local government as per the Cat Act 2011.

Dogs are also required to be microchipped and registered with their local government as per the Dog Amendment Bill 2013. We encourage all dog owners to sterilise their pets to prevent them from contributing to the increasing population of unwanted animals. Pet owners have specific legal responsibilities, which are intended for the convenience of all the community, as well as the health and well-being of your animals.

Keeping of animals

The Dog Act 1976, administered and enforced by Local Governments, addresses dog control and registration, ownership and keeping of dogs, and the obligations and rights of dog owners and others. 

Responsible dog ownership

You must ensure your dog is:

  • currently registered (if over three months of age)
  • micro-chipped
  • wears a collar displaying name, address, phone number and registration tag.
  • confined to the premises at which it lives or is temporarily residing.
  • under the control of a competent person.
  • only exercised off the leash in a designated area and is under verbal control. You must carry a leash.
  • control, trained and restrained to prevent wandering, excessive barking, aggression and attacks of other animals or people.

Limitation of dog numbers

  • The limit on the number of dogs which may be kept on any premises is 2, for the purpose of Section 26(4) of the Dog Act. No exemption shall be granted to the owner or occupier of any premises if the premises by reason of inadequate fencing, size, location or detrimental effect on any other premises, would be inappropriate for the housing of three to six dogs.
  • Upon request the Local Government may grant an exemption in relation to any particular premises under Section 26(3) of the Act, to house three to six dogs at one property.
  • Request for exemptions can only be approved by delegated authority.
  • Fee: $150 per application 

Barking dogs 

The most common complaint against dogs is barking. Under Section 38(a)(b) of the Dog Act, a dog is a nuisance if: (b) it creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, which persistently occurs or continues to a degree or extent not normally habitual in dogs and has a disturbing effect on the state of reasonable physical, mental or social well-being of a person. 


  • Cat Act 2011 - Cat Act 2011 – [00-c0-01]
  • All cats must be microchipped, registered and sterilised.
  • Hire of cat traps may be available for the capture of nuisance and or feral cats.

Dog exercise areas 

Where can I take my dog? 

The Shire of Carnarvon has recently updated the permitted 'Dog Off-Leash Exercise Areas' and 'Prohibited Areas for Dogs' to come in line with the Dog Act 1976.

In December 2020 the Council approved the updates to the 'Off Leash Exercise Areas' and 'Prohibited' areas for dogs to align with the Dog Act 1976 and the Disabilities Act 2006 in relation to assistance dogs. Click here for the Dog Off Leash Exercise information sheet

We all know our dogs need exercise and it is good to let them off the leash.  However, it is important to be responsible pet owners and only allow your dog's off the leash in permitted areas.  Dogs are to remain on a leash in all areas of the Shire of Carnarvon other than where there is a specified off-leash area or where dogs are not permitted under the Dog Act.  The only exception to registered Assistance animals under the Disabilities Act 2006.

Register your pet

How to register your pet?

As of 1 November 2013, all domestic cats in WA over 6 months of age will need to be sterilised, micro-chipped and registered with their local government.  All dogs must be micro-chipped before they can be registered.  

Registration forms are available from your local Shire office.  You will need to show proof of sterilisation and micro-chipping which is available from your Vet.

It is the responsibility of pet owners to keep their contact details up to date with the Shire.  If you move out of the Shire of Carnarvon it is the owner's responsibility to notify the Shire to transfer the registration to the Shire you are moving too.  Registration of pets is transferable with all Shires and Councils within Western Australia. 

What is the cost? 

The period of registration (or dog year) runs from 1 November to 31 October, regardless of when the dog is actually registered.

Dog Registration Fees

1 Year 3 Year Lifetime
Unsterilised Dog $50 $120 $250
Sterilised Dog $20 $42.50 $100


Cat Registration Fees

Annual registration $20
Three year registration $42.50
Lifetime registration $100

Annual application for approval or renewal of approval to breed cats (per cat)     $100

Cat or Dog missing? 

What to do if your pet is missing? 

If you have a missing animal, it may have been picked up by a Ranger and taken to the Shire’s Animal Pound Facility. Impounded animals may be claimed by appointment Monday – Friday 08:30 am – 4:30 pm. To arrange an appointment, call the rangers on 08 9941 0019.

Poundage fees are applicable and pet owners are required to register their dog and/or cat or provide proof of registration and microchip before the dog and/or cat will be released. Proof of sterilisation is also required for registration purposes.

Before coming in to pay the applicable fees, an appointment must be made for the return of your pet.

If your dog or cat is found by one of our Rangers and is wearing a current Shire registration tag, the Shire of Carnarvon will attempt to contact you. A microchip will speed this process up and is now mandatory for dogs and cats.

If you’re looking for a new family pet, you can view the dogs on the SAFE Carnarvon Website or you can visit their Facebook Page.

Animals that have been picked up by Ranger Services with no identifiable owner, which are not claimed within a minimum of 72 hours for dogs will be re-homed where suitable and three working days for cats. If the owner is known, they will be issued with a seven-day notice. If not collected after 7 days, the dog or cat will be re-homed where suitable.

If your pet is in the Animal Care Centre you will be required to pay all fines and fees as well as registration and microchipping if your pet is not already registered and microchipped, before the Rangers will be able to release the animal. 

Payments can be done at the Shire office at 3 Francis Street. EFTPOS is available for your convenience.

Rangers will not respond to private messages or messages or posts on social media. 

If you require the services of the Rangers, please call

  • (08) 9941 0019, or
  • (08) 9941 0000
  • or contact via Rangers Email

Provide your name, address and valid phone number and email address with the details of your concern. 

Please be aware that the Rangers may be dealing with another issue and will follow up with all calls or emails at their earliest availability. 

Wish to report.

  • Wandering, barking, dog attacks?
  • Lost your dog? Contact Ranger 9941 0019.
  • Found a dog? 

Contact Shire Rangers who may already have details of the owner. Dogs will be collected if the owners cannot be located or there is a history of behavioural issues.

  • (08) 9941 0019, or
  • (08) 9941 0000
  • or contact via Rangers Email

Provide your name, address and valid phone number and email address with the details of your concern.  The Rangers will contact any person who reports an animal issue by phone or email only and your identity will remain confidential.