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Registration, microchipping, and desexing

All dogs and cats must be microchipped and lifetime registered under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

  • Companion animals are required to be microchipped by 12 weeks of age, or before being sold or given away, whichever happens first.
  • Lifetime registration is required by six months of age.

You are also responsible for making sure that your pet's information is maintained, and the NSW Pet Registry is up to date if your pet's address or other circumstances change.

A dog or cat that is away from the premises of the owner must wear a collar and tag.

The tag must show the name of the dog or cat, and address or telephone number of the owner.

In accordance with the NSW Companion Animals Act 1998, companion animals are required to be microchipped by 12 weeks of age, or before being sold or given away, whichever happens first. Microchipping can be done at almost every local veterinary clinic.

A microchip is a subcutaneous full duplex electronic radio transponder. Modern microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are implanted beneath the animal's skin between the shoulders. No personal information is stored on the microchip - only the unique identification number.

An implanted microchip does not cause any ongoing pain or discomfort to your cat or dog. The microchip does not require a battery or any maintenance and is designed to last the life of your pet.

  • If you fail to have your cat or dog microchipped, you may be issued with a notice and the associated fine.

Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, all cats and dogs (except working dogs) must be lifetime registered.

Lifetime registration of your animal is the next step after microchipping and is required by the age of six months. Registering your animal is the key to ensuring they get home safely if they are ever lost.

If you fail to register your cat or dog when required to do so, you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of $305.00, or a Court may award a maximum penalty of up to $5,500.00, or up to $6,500.00 if your dog is a restricted dog or a declared dangerous or menacing dog.

Working dogs

Working dogs used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock (and dogs being trained to be working dogs) are exempt from the microchipping and registration requirements.

To distinguish your working dog from a general companion animal you will need to provide some records to Council such as the type of stock being worked, locations, dates, times and duration your dog is officially working other than being securely chained on a residential property. While the exemption applies, these dogs are valuable animals and owners are encouraged to have their dogs microchipped and registered for the dog’s own protection.

Assistance and support dogs

Assistance dogs are used to provide assistance to people with a disability to help alleviate the effect of that disability. Whilst these dogs provide an important service that helps people with a disability participate in personal and public life activities to a greater extent, they are still required to be microchipped and registered. However, there is an exemption of registration fees, provided the dog is accredited by a relevant animal training organisation. Further information is provided at:

How to register your pet

All councils in New South Wales are agents for the NSW Government register that records the identification and registration of dogs and cats.

To register your pet, attend any of these Council locations with the relevant registration fee and supporting documents:

  • Customer Service Centre - Vulcan Street, Moruya - 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday - phone: 4474 1000
  • Narooma Depot - 32 Glasshouse Rocks Road, Narooma - 8.30am to 12pm, 1pm to 3pm, Monday to Thursday - phone: 4476 4144
  • Batemans Bay Depot - 150 Princes Highway, Batemans Bay - 8.30am to 12pm, 1pm to 3pm, Monday to Thursday - phone: 4472 4035.

When you register your pet, you will need:

  • a completed registration form
  • document to verify your pets microchip details
  • document to verify your pet is desexed (if applicable)
  • document to verify any reduced fee you may be entitled to
  • to pay the relevant registration fee for your pet.

Registration fees

Discounted registration fees apply to desexed cats or dogs. Having your cat or dog desexed prior to registration helps to reduce straying, fighting, aggression and antisocial behaviour such as spraying to mark territory. It also helps to reduce the number of unwanted pets born each year.

Lifetime registration fees can be subject to change:

  • Desexed dog: $60
  • Non-desexed dog: $216
  • Desexed dog purchased from the pound: $30
  • Desexed/non-desexed cat: $50
  • Annual permit for non-desexed cat: $80
  • Desexed cat purchased from the pound: $25
  • Pensionser with desexed animal: $26
  • Recognised breeder - dog $60
  • Recognised breeder - cat $50

Dangerous/restricted dogs

You are required to pay a $195 annual permit, in addition to the one-off lifetime pet registration fee, if your dog is a restricted breed, or formally declared to be dangerous.

  • If you fail to obtain an annual permit for your dangerous dog from seven days from the declaration date if declared after six months of age, you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of $700 or a court may award a maximum penalty of up to $6,600.
  • If you fail to obtain an annual permit for your restricted dog from six months of age, you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of $700 or a court may award a maximum penalty of up to $6,600.
  • If your dog is of a breed that is restricted in the future, the permit is due 21 days after the breed is listed as restricted. If this does not occur within the required time, you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of $700 or a Court may award a maximum penalty of up to $6,600.
  • Please note that two annual permits are required if your dog is restricted and dangerous.

Non-desexed cats

If you are the owner of a cat not desexed by four months of age, you will be required to pay an $80 annual permit, in addition to the one-off lifetime pet registration fee (refer to above fee table).

If you fail to obtain an annual permit for your cat (over the age of four months) from six months of age, unless that cat is desexed, you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of $400 or a court may award a maximum penalty of up to $5,500.

Paying fees

Owners will be able to pay for this permit via the NSW Pet Registry website or at any of the above Council locations.

More information

You have a responsibility to ensure that the information on the NSW Companion Animals Register is up to date.

Change of owner and address forms are available from Council at:

  • Customer Service Centre - Vulcan Street, Moruya - 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday - phone: 4474 1000
  • Narooma Depot - 32 Glasshouse Rocks Road, Narooma - 8.30am to 12pm, 1pm to 3pm, Monday to Thursday - phone: 4476 4144
  • Batemans Bay Depot - 150 Princes Highway, Batemans Bay - 8.30am to 12pm, 1pm to 3pm, Monday to Thursday - phone: 4472 4035.

Dogs and cats are able to reproduce at a very young age and throughout their lifetime. Eurobodalla Shire Council encourages pet owners to desex cats and dogs at an early age. Whilst puppies and kittens are very cute, it is important that they find good homes and that they do not have unwanted litters.

Although you're not required to have your cat or dog desexed unless it is a restricted, declared dangerous or menacing dog, there are many benefits in doing so for you and your animal.

Why desex pets?

Cats can become pregnant at just four months of age, and dogs can become pregnant at five months. Australia already has too many unwanted animals, and hundreds of thousands of animals are put down unnecessarily each year.

Desexed pets live longer and healthier lives and are less prone to wander, fight and be anti-social.

Benefits

  • A significantly reduced lifetime registration fee will apply if your cat or dog has been desexed - refer to 'lifetime registration' information on this page.
  • Your cat or dog is less likely to stray, be aggressive, fight or spray to mark its territory.
  • Desexing helps to reduce unwanted pets and pet overpopulation.

You can however choose not to desex your pet and still be a responsible pet owner, but it does require extra effort and commitment on your part.

Other pet-care advantages of desexing

  • Desexed animals are far less inclined to go in search of a mate - if your pet goes wandering from your property (it should of course be confined at all times), it could get lost or injured.
  • It eliminates the need to house your female pet to protect her from keen males that are attracted by her scent if she is on heat.
  • By reducing the population of stray or unwanted cats, we in turn reduce the damage these strays can do to our native flora and fauna.
  • You will not have the problem of having to find homes for unwanted or unexpected litters of puppies or kittens.

What is involved in desexing?

Pets can be desexed as young as twelve weeks, and is recommended before six months of age.

The operation is a very common procedure and causes minimal discomfort to your pet. Most pets are fully recovered within 24 hours.

Discuss with your vet any questions about what's involved in having your pet desexed, and how to care for your pet after the operation.

Common myths about desexing

  • Myth: 'A desexed pet will become fat'.
    Response: Desexing your pet does not make it fat or lazy - only lack of exercise and too much food will do this.
  • Myth: 'Pets lose their personality after desexing'.
    Response: Your pet will retain his or her own, very individual, personality after the operation. The only character change resulting from desexing may be that your pet calms down a little.
  • Myth: 'The operation is painful'.
    Response: Pets will experience some tenderness in the affected area immediately after the operation. Your vet can advise you on caring for your pet after desexing. Most cats and dogs bounce back very quickly.
  • Myth: 'Females should have one litter first'.
    Response: There is no benefit in allowing your pet have a litter before it is desexed - it is actually better for her not to have a litter, or a period of being on heat.

Think carefully before allowing your female pet to have a litter, as you are responsible for keeping the offspring until you find good owners for them.

Puppies and kittens must not be dumped or left to fend for themselves - dumping puppies and kittens carries a penalty.  Apart from being inhumane, these animals could add to the stray and feral cat or dog populations.

Discounted desexing

Pensioners or low income earners struggling to meet the cost of desexing can contact the Desexing Officer at the Eurobodalla branch of Animal Welfare League NSW:

More information

We can help you

For all animal enquiries, please contact Council's Rangers on: