THE introduction of off-leash dog areas and stricter cat rules two years ago has been "well accepted among the community", Maroondah Council says.
On January 1, 2011, the council established 31 designated off-leash areas where dogs are free to run without their owner beside them.
It also introduced a 'cat curfew', whereby cats must be confined to their owner's property from sunset to sunrise each day.
Croydon dog owner Patricia Shaw said off-leash areas were perfect for her two dogs.
"My dogs love to run, naturally. We've got a big enough property for them to run, but I like them to get out in the open," she said.
"I use the off-leash areas once, sometimes twice a day depending on the weather."
Mrs Shaw said the introduction of off-leash areas has alleviated disputes on bike tracks.
"I've walked my dogs around these areas for the past 15 years."
Maroondah director of community and leisure services Wendy King said most locals had abided by the new laws.
Only 12 dog owners have been fined the $141 penalty for having their dog off-leash outside an allotted area since 2011.
Fines handed out to cat owners have decreased, too.
"Total requests related to cat nuisance and strays have reduced from 358 requests in 2010 to 235 in 2012," Ms King said.
Locals who received a new furry friend for Christmas are reminded to register and microchip them with their local council. Prices can be found at maroondah.vic.gov.au or yarraranges.vic.gov.au. Registration is an annual payment which falls on April 10.