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Ownership Requirements:

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The Companion Animals Act (the “Act”) sets out some of the responsibilities for people with control over dogs and cats. Some of the obligations of dog owners include:

  • The dog must have a collar around its neck with the name of the dog and the address or phone number of its owner;
  • The dog must be identifiable by way of microchipping. There are certain time limits as to when this is to occur;
  • The dog must be registered from 6 months. The time limits will differ if the dog has been declared a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog;
  • The owner must take reasonable steps to prevent the dog from escaping from their property;
  • Ensuring the dog is on a leash/ cord/ chain that is held securely. This does not apply to off-leash areas;
  • Ensuring the dog avoids prohibited areas such as children’s play areas, school grounds, areas where food is prepared and consumed (except for outdoor dining areas subject to restrictions being satisfied), wildlife protection areas and shopping centres;
  • Muzzling where required;
  • Collecting and disposal of dog faeces from public places;
  • The dog must not be encouraged to attack or chase another animal or person;
  • Providing required notifications about the welfare or address of the dog.

Some of the obligations of cat owners include:

  • The cat must have identification to enable the name of the cat and the address or phone number of its owner to be found. This may be by way of a collar or microchip;
  • Cats are prohibited from being in some areas including where food is prepared and consumed (except if the place is a thoroughfare eg a road) and wildlife protection areas.

A failure to comply with obligations as a pet owner is an offence and a penalty notice can be issued by the Local Council.

If you require assistance with understanding your obligations as a pet owner or if you have been issued with a penalty notice for a failure to comply with your obligations, you may wish to contact our firm and arrange an appointment to see one of our Animal Law & Pet Law Solicitors.

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