Responsible pet ownership

Being a responsible pet owner is important. 


RSPCA Australia Guide on keeping your cat safe and happy at home

Keeping your cat safe at night

We encourage cat owners to keep their cats confined at night.

The majority of accidents involving cats happen at night, including your cat getting into fights, being hit by a car, getting lost or even catching fatal diseases. The hours between dusk and dawn are also when cats are more likely to kill local native wildlife.

You can care for your cats at night by:

  • keeping them inside your home
  • teaching your cat to come in at night
  • only feeding your cat inside
  • buying a cat enclosure from your local pet shop
  • building your own A-frame cat enclosure with chicken wire
  • attaching floppy chicken wire to your fences to make them harder to climb.

Legal requirements for cat owners

If your cat continually wonders onto another person’s property without their permission it can be taken to the Lost Dogs Home. Unidentified cats will also be taken to the Lost Dogs Home. If your cat continues to be a problem, we can issue an order to stop your cat from roaming and issue an infringement.


Dogs in public spaces

Our public spaces are very busy so everyone must be mindful of others to ensure these spaces can be enjoyed by all.

Dog owners need to do the following:

  • observe the on-leash, off-leash and dog-free areas and times
  • pick up after your dog immediately and carry something suitable to pick up dog waste, like a bag, at all times
  • closely supervise and have control of your dog at all times
  • not let your dog bother or interrupt others, roam or wander
  • make sure your dog does not damage public assets spaces, by digging holes or chewing
  • always remember the actions of your dog are your responsibility in the eyes of the law
  • always have your current Yarra Council registration tag on your dog when in public.

Where can I walk my dog off-leash?

Visit our parks and gardens directory to check where you can walk your dog off-leash in the City of Yarra.


  • Dogs are prohibited in playgrounds at any time.
  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of playground areas.

Exercise equipment

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of exercise equipment.

Shared pathways

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash on shared pathways and 5 metres either side, even if pathways run through off-leash areas.
  • Shared pathways
  • Merri Creek Shared Trail – Dights Falls to May Street boundary of Moreland and Yarra.
  • Inner Circle Railway – Linear Path – From Bowen Crescent (along Holtom West, Solly Avenue and Park Street) to Falconer Street, North Fitzroy.
  • Inner Circle Railway – Linear Path – St Georges Road (to Scotchmer Street and along Mark Street) to Edinburgh Gardens.
  • Main Yarra Trail – Dights Falls to Burnley Harbour (excluding Gipps Street to Victoria Street).

BBQ and picnic facilities

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of all BBQ and picnic facilities.

Skate and BMX facilities

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of all skate park and BMX facilities.

Sports activities

  • Dogs are allowed off-leash in unfenced sporting grounds only when the grounds are not in use for approved sporting events (including training).
  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of sporting grounds when they are in use for approved sporting events (including training).
  • Dogs are not allowed on any sports grounds enclosed by fencing (except Victoria Park and Citizens Park) or any synthetic sports grounds.

Other authorised activities

  • Dogs must be kept on-leash within 10 metres of authorised school events or other approved public events.

Wetlands and other environmentally significant areas

  • Dogs are not allowed in wetlands and other environmentally significant areas.
  • Dogs are prohibited in mulched areas and garden beds in our parks and gardens.

Commercial dog walkers

  • Commercial dog walkers must keep all dogs in their care on-leash at all times except when in a designated and fenced off-leash areas.


If you keep chickens in your backyard, you must ensure the animals have easy access to food and water and can move freely around their enclosure. Care should also be taken to protect your chickens from the weather and from disease and injury.

Keeping your chickens enclosed 

It is your responsibility to ensure your chickens do not disrupt your neighbours. In order to limit disturbance, you cannot not locate your chicken enclosure within: 

  • the front setback of your property to the street 
  • the side setback to a side street (excluding a lane) 
  • a distance of 2 metres from the boundary of any adjoining land in separate ownership or occupation
  • 3 metres from any dwelling on any adjoining land in separate ownership or occupation. 


You are allowed to keep bees as a hobby in Yarra. 

You can keep 2 recreational beehives only. If you want to keep more than 2 hives you must be registered as an apiarist with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Your hives and the positioning and maintenance of them must be compliant with the Apiary Code of Practice May 2011 and the City of Yarra Planning Scheme.