Responsible Pet Ownership

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As a responsible pet owner, you should:

  • ensure your pets are sterilised, microchipped and registered.
  • keep your dogs under control and on a leash in public areas, and carry bags suitable for picking up after your dog.
  • keep your cat indoors at night to make sure it doesn't harm native wildlife or cause a nuisance to neighbours.
  • keep your dog walked and entertained so it does not become a nuisance.
  • comply with additional requirements if you own a restricted breed of dog or a dangerous dog.

Codes of practice for keeping cats and dogs

Codes of practice reflect the views and values held by Victorians with respect to the care of animals.  Codes are made under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.

Codes of Practice are intended to provide the minimum standards of accommodation, management and care appropriate to the physical and behavioural requirements of cats and dogs.

All pet owners must also comply with:


All newly registered cats and dogs must be microchipped. Pets previously registered with another Council must also be microchipped before applying for registration in the City of Maribyrnong.

Microchipping is the simple and painless process of injecting a silicon chip, the size of a grain of rice, under the skin and between the shoulder blades of your pet. Microchipping significantly increases your chances of being reunited with a lost pet. Each microchip contains a 15 digit number that corresponds with the owner's contact details.


Fertile cats and dogs are the cause of most pet nuisance problems. If you have your pet sterilised you can help solve the problem of unwanted pets.

Enquire with your local vet for current costs of sterilisation procedures.

Dogs on and off lead requirements

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, all dog owners and people in charge of a dog must ensure the dog is securely confined on a lead in public unless the area specifically states it is off-lead.

There are a number of designated off-lead areas where dogs can be let off their lead.

Find a dog off-lead park

When using the off-lead areas, you must:

  • carry a lead and ensure you keep your dog in full view
  • only allow your dog off-lead if it returns to you on command
  • allow dogs off-lead in the designated off-lead areas only
  • comply with any other restrictions noted on Council signage (eg hours when dogs must be on a lead)
  • carry a container or plastic bag to pick up their dog's droppings.

Picking up after your dog

When you own a dog it is your responsibility to clean up after it.

Dog owners should ensure they always carry a bag suitable for the collection of their dogs droppings. Council also provides free dog litter bags in a number of parks across the City(PDF, 751KB). Once you have picked up the dog droppings it can be disposed of in a dog litter or rubbish bin.

Failure to clean up after your dog can result in an on-the-spot fine.