Responsible pet ownership

As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to provide the necessary care to keep your pet(s) safe and healthy. You must also be aware of your obligations and be considerate of other residents while sharing public spaces. Uncontrolled dogs and cats are a threat to our native wildlife.

As a responsible pet owner you must:

  • microchip and desex cats and dogs over 3 months of age
  • register your pets with Council
  • display pet registration tags when outside of home
  • keep your dog on lead when in public
  • clean up animal waste

People can legally object to:

You can be fined and taken to court for serious or repeat offences. 

Visit the Local laws for pet owners page for more information about your requirements as a pet owner. 

Changes to help manage dogs and cats in Mount Alexander Shire

Mount Alexander Shire has new rules regarding dog and cat controls, effective from 24 February 2022.

Councillors voted in the February Council meeting to confine cats securely to their owners’ premises between the hours of sunset to sunrise, and to prohibit dogs from playing surfaces of sporting ovals in the shire.

While there are fines for these two items, Council understands that pet owners will need time to adjust and won’t be actively enforcing the changes immediately.

Council is looking forward to working together with the community on the gradual implementation of this, making sure there are plenty of opportunities for pet-owners to access free information to help them adapt their behaviour.

Read on to view Cat Curfew FAQs and Dog On-leads FAQs.

Mount Alexander Shire cat curfew

Mount Alexander Shire has a cat curfew. This is a legal requirement to keep a cat confined to the owner’s property from sunset to sunrise.

When cats are outdoors they can attack wildlife, get hit by cars, injure or be injured by other cats and spread diseases such as feline AIDS. They can also spray, howl and annoy neighbours, especially during mating season.

Read our Cat Curfew FAQs for more information.

Keep your cat safe and happy at home

The RSPCA is Australia’s most well-known and trusted animal welfare organisation, with a long history of providing evidence-based animal welfare advice to the public.

In 2018, RSPCA launched the Guide to Keeping Your Cat Safe and Happy at Home.

This is a free resource aimed at advising cat owners on how to provide for their cat’s welfare and also help protect native wildlife by keeping their cat contained to their home, with safe outdoor access (e.g. through a cat-enclosure).

Dogs on-lead

Mount Alexander Shire requires dogs to be on-lead when being exercised on the streets and roads in the townships of Castlemaine, Maldon, Chewton and Campbells Creek.

Stricter rules were needed following complaints that people are allowing their dogs to defecate on sporting areas making it unsafe for players.

The off-lead dog park at Wesley Hill, Castlemaine is a great place to exercise your dog safely.

Read our Dogs On-lead FAQs for more information.

Tips for caring for your pet

Deciding to become a pet owner requires considered thought and planning. You must be ready to take on all the responsibilities that come with owning a pet before you choose a breed of animal. It is important to make a choice that suits your lifestyle and priorities.

There is information on the Agriculture Victoria website which will help you to make the right choice about the best pet for you. Being a responsible pet owner ensures you and your pet can enjoy a long and happy relationship.


Pet friendly places

For information on parks where you can walk your dog in Mount Alexander see dog walking in parks.

With pet friendly accommodation and business listings in Australia, Take your Pet is an online resource for those looking to have adventures with their pet. Allowing users to share recommendations and experiences the platform creates a community of like- minded pet owners.

Owning a dangerous dog

If a dog attacks and seriously injures a person or another animal it will declared a Dangerous Dog under the Domestic Animal Act 1994.

Special enclosures will need to be built for these dogs and they must be muzzled and wear a special red and yellow collar at all times.

A dangerous dog declaration has effect throughout Victoria and it cannot be revoked, amended or otherwise altered.

This information does not apply to guard dogs on non-residential premises, for specific information on these dogs see Agriculture Vic.

Requirements for keeping declared dangerous dogs

Councils have the power to charge higher registration fees for dangerous dogs that have been declared dangerous than the standard maximum pet registration fees. See more at dog and cat registrations.

Declared dogs - property inspection fee for dangerous and restricted breed $65.00

The Domestic Animals Regulations 2005 provide for and ensure a state-wide standard relating to the management of dangerous dogs. The uniform identification of dangerous dogs and the identification of premises where they live is important for easy identification of these dogs. It is also vital for effective state-wide education programs, directed particularly at children.

Note that where the owner of a dog is under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of that owner will be deemed the legal owner of the dog and subject to any penalties/prosecutions.