Being the owner of a dog is a big responsibility. When you buy or are given a dog there are a lot of things you need to do to look after it properly.
You should ensure that it is well nourished, vaccinated, groomed, healthy and properly exercised and socialised.
A well cared for dog can provide great enjoyment, companionship and pleasure.
It is important to remember however, that as a dog owner you have responsibilities towards the other members of the community. The Companion Animals Act sets out some of these requirements and gives Council Rangers the power to assist and where necessary enforce the law to ensure that owners meet their responsibilities.
You are responsible for ensuring that your dog does not harm or threaten any other person or animal. This means that you must be able to control your dog on your property and when you are in public with your dog you must always keep it on a leash.
The owners of restricted breeds of dogs including American pit bull terriers have a range of more stringent responsibilities in NSW. As do the owners of dogs that have been declared dangerous or menacing for attacking other animals or people.
As an owner of a dog you must also make sure that your animal is not causing a nuisance whether by consistently barking, straying or interfering with other peoples property.
Dog owners are of course always required to promptly dispose of any feces which their dog may leave anywhere other than on their own property.
Finally you must ensure that your dog is permanently identified by a microchip and properly registered. Dogs must wear a collar with a tag which shows the name of the dog and the address or telephone number as a minimum of the owner of the dog. The responsibilities of owning a dog are well balanced by the rewards of the companionship that a dog can bring. The Companion Animals Act and associated legislation aims to assist dogs and their owners to co-exist with other members of the community.
By understanding these responsibilities you can help maximise the benefits of companion animal ownership for your dog, your neighbors and your community.
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