Companion Animal Ownership Information
From July 2016, Pet owners have access to the NSW Pet Registry to update their contact details, report their pet as missing, transfer ownership, and pay most lifetime registration fees online, giving your pet the best chance of being returned home.
To learn how, visit the NSW Pet Registry or contact Dungog Shire Council, 198 Dowling Street Dungog, Telephone (02) 4995 7777.
Dungog Shire Council encourages all pet owners to be responsible for their pets actions. Pets are referred to as 'companion animals'.
Our objectives are set out in the Companion Animal Management Plan 2007(PDF, 246KB) .
Being a responsible dog/cat owner is easy. There are seven things you can do to be a responsible pet owner:
- Make sure your dog/cat can be identified with a collar, tag and microchip
- Make sure your dog/cat is registered with Council so it can be identified if it becomes lost
- Keep your dog in your yard
- Contain your cat to ensure that it doesn’t create a nuisance
- Consider desexing your pets
- Always keep your dog on a leash in public unless in a off leash area
- Clean up after your pet.
Dogs and cats must wear a tag that states the animals name, address and phone number or any combination of the three.
Contact Council on 02 4995 7777 for more information about pet tags.
All dogs must be registered before they are 6 months old and all cats must be registered before they are 4 months old. If your pet goes astray, the pound or vet can use your pet's microchip and registration details to contact you and quickly reunite you with your pet.
Registration is cheaper if your pet is already desexed.
All impounded animals must be microchipped and lifetime registered prior to release from the Pound. This includes animals that would otherwise be subject to an exemption, such as working dogs, greyhounds, or animals less that six months of age. Council is unable to waive or reduce these fees, however desexed animals are cheaper to register. See Council's Fees & Charges for the current fee for your pet.
NSW Pet Registry
From 4 July 2016 you can access the new NSW pet registry . This means from July 2016:
Pet owners and breeders can create an online profile. You can update your details, notify if your dog or cat is missing, register ownership changes and pay registration fees online.
Cats will need to be desexed by 4 months of age to received the discounted lifetime registration fee. The discounted lifetime registration fee will still apply to dogs desexed by 6 months of age.
Breeders will be issued a breeder ID number where owner and animal information will be recorded and will help track litters over time.
Vets will be required to update the register when they desex cats and dogs. Vets will also be able to update the register if they believe a pet should not be desexed for medical reasons.
Forms are available to download from the NSW pet registry .
If you are a pensioner in Dungog Shire Council area, or are otherwise entitled to a zero dollar registration fee (for example, assistance dogs, guide dogs and so on), you will still need to visit your Council with the relevant documents to register your pets.
All puppies/ kittens born or dogs/ cats purchased, must be permanently identified with a microchip by 12 weeks of age, point of sale, OR change of ownership, whichever occurs first.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a small two millimetre implant containing a "barcode" that can be inserted under the skin. The microchipping procedure involves placing the microchip under the skin between the shoulder blades with a needle.
This can be done by a veterinarian or authorised implanters. Once the microchip is in place, the microchip will enable immediate identification of your animal whenever it is scanned.
All dogs and cats (Companion Animals) must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or at point of sale or give away. It is vitally important that you keep your dog/cat's microchip details up to date. Please notify Council within 14 days when you move address, change phone details and/or sell or giveaway the animal. This will ensure that your pet will always be returned to you.
How to Register
Firstly, check that you live within Dungog Shire Council boundaries. If not, you must contact your local council.
If you don't have a certificate of identification you must complete a permanent identification form first. Then you can also complete the lifetime registration form. You can then lodge both forms with Dungog Shire Council. We will send you your identification certificate. Please note: The permanent identification form is necessary otherwise we will not be able to contact you or complete your registration.
If you already have a certificate of identification you can complete and lodge the lifetime registration form, but you must include a photocopy of the identification certificate with the lifetime registration form otherwise we will not be able to contact you or complete your registration.
You have 2 options:
lifetime registration form + permanent identification form
lifetime registration form + certificate of identification.
You can download the forms you need to complete.
If applicable (see definition list below), there are other forms you can also submit to gain discounts:
- a desexing certificate (if your pet has been desexed) will make your registration cheaper
- pensioner concession card
- a receipt showing that your desexed animal was adopted from an eligible pound/shelter after the 29 October 2015 – the receipt must show the adopted animal's microchip number
- proof of assistance animal status
- proof of breeder status
Adoptions from a pound/shelter in NSW are eligible for discounted registration if the animal was adopted after 29 October 2015 from:
- Animal Welfare League NSW
- Cat Protection Society
- Council pound
- Approved NSW Government Animal Rescue Organisation
The Companion Animals Act 1998 defines a working dog as:
A dog used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and includes a dog being trained as a working dog”.
Working dogs are legally required to be microchipped and Lifetime Registered. A dog that Council believes satisfies the criteria of a ‘working dog’ is then Lifetime Registered as such. The Lifetime Registration of a working dog is of nil value. Whether or not your dog is desexed does not fact in. If a dog does not satisfy the criteria of “working dog” the dog will be required to be Lifetime Registered as per its desexing status.
What is not classed as a “working dog”
- Static guard dogs.
- a dog that while is a traditional breed of working dog, has absolutely nothing to do with livestock.
- a dog that while is a traditional breed of working dog, lives out of town limits and still has absolutely nothing to do with livestock.
- a dog that works with other animals. ie a dog used to chase ducks/other pests off land (that land used for vineyards, produce growers etc).
- a dog that while is a traditional breed of working dog displays behaviours inconsistent with that of which it was bred or trained to do.
- a dog used as a therapy dog.
- a dog subject to a dog attack or nuisance incident.
Payment and submitting your documents
Dungog Shire Council residents can submit the required documents in 1 of 3 ways:
- Email your lifetime registration form with the permanent identification form or the certificate of identification along with your desexing certificate to email@example.com. Once the information is received by Council we will contact you by phone to make your payment to enable your paperwork to be processed.
- Bring your lifetime registration form with the permanent identification form or the certificate of identification along with your desexing certificate to the Dungog Shire Council Administration Building with your payment.
- Post your lifetime registration form with the permanent identification form or the certificate of identification along with your desexing certificate with a cheque/money order made payable to the Dungog Shire Council:
Dungog Shire Council
PO Box 95
DUNGOG NSW 2420
If you are not sure which forms you need to complete and submit, please review the information under 'How to register'.
If you have any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org. Your registration details will be recorded on the NSW Companion Animals Register.
You will receive your certificate of registration once your cat or dog is registered, and where applicable the identification certificate.
The registration fee is a once-only payment and covers lifetime registration in NSW, even if pet ownership changes.
You must be over 18 years old to register a pet. A parent or guardian can register cats and dogs on behalf of children and teenagers under 18.
If your address or ownership changes, you need to change your pet registration.
If you are moving to NSW with your pet, you need to change your pet registration.
When dogs or cats are in a public place they must wear an identification disc on their collar that is engraved with their name and their owner's contact number.
We recommend all cats that are allowed to roam should wear a collar and tag. All cats must, by law, be microchipped.
All owners are encouraged to desex their animals. The cost of registration is less for desexed animals and further discounts are available for desexed animals owned by a pensioner.
- Early desexing also eliminates the risk of serious diseases including reproductive cancers
- Desexed dogs grow up cleaner, healthier, quieter and more home loving
- Desexed dogs will not become fat unless they are overfed and under exercised
- Desexed dogs are much less aggressive than entire dogs and make much safer family pets particularly for those families with young children.
Thousands of unwanted puppies and dogs are destroyed by animal welfare agencies each year because there are simply not enough homes for them.
Hunter Animal Watch is a voluntary organisation that aims to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs in the Hunter by offering financial assistance to people on low incomes to desex their animals. For further information contact 02 4961 6133 between 10am and 3pm (Mondays and Fridays only).
National Desexing Network - Phone: 1300 368 992 or https://ndn.org.au
What to do if you sell or give away your dog or cat
It is the responsibility of the 'old' owner (the person selling or giving away the animal) to notify Council of the change of ownership. The Change of Ownership form(PDF, 144KB) needs to be signed by the 'old' owner as well as the new owner. Failure to notify council of the change may result in fines.
If you are an owner of a restricted or dangerous dog please contact Council on 02 4995 7777.
What to do if I move address or change my details
Pet owners should make sure that their contact information listed on the NSW Companion Animals Register is always up to date and current – if your pet goes missing, you can’t be contacted if your information is out of date.
So notify Council of your change of details within 14 days by completing a Change of Details form(PDF, 283KB) and forwarding to Council.
Leash Free Areas
Dogs are required to be restrained while in a public place with the exception of prescribed dog exercise areas. Dungog currently has one leash free area at Frank Robinson Park, Dungog.
While dogs are allowed on these reserves unleashed, their owner remains liable for prosecution if the animals attack another person or dog or cause a nuisance to people.
Dogs allowed to run loose and unsupervised are major problems for residents and Council. They cause considerable work for Council, and irresponsible dog owners are finding themselves facing substantial fines and/or court action as a result of not controlling their pets properly.
On-the-spot fines are issued for an unregistered dog or unleashed dog, or for a dog found defecating in a public place, and the owner fails to clean up after the animal.
Council officers will impound dogs when they are found straying. First priority is to return the dog or cat home after contacting the owner if the dog is identified by a collar and tag and/or microchip.
Members of the public sometimes also capture straying dogs and take them directly to Pound.
Council’s Pound Facility is located at:
Maitland Animal Management Facility
11 Metford Road, East Maitland
Phone: 0438 742 541
Council does provide a surrender service for pet owners living in the Dungog Shire. Council charges a surrender fee to cover some of the costs in trying to rehome these pets. Surrenders and adoptions will be referred directly to the Maitland Animal Management Facility on the above number.
Seizing a dog from its property
Council officers can seize a dog from its property if it has been involved in an attack within the preceding 72 hours and if Council believes that the dog is not able to be secured safely on its property. Council officers leave a notice of seizure on the property if this has occurred.
Council officers may seize a dangerous or restricted dog if an officer is satisfied dangerous and restricted dog control requirements have not been met.
A claim for release of a seized dog from Council's pound may be made only if Council is satisfied that the relevant control requirements are capable of being met.
How long are impounded animals held?
Animals that are not identified by a microchip are held at the Council Pound for seven (7) days. Microchipped animals are held for fourteen (14) days. Animals that remain unclaimed become the property of the Council Pound. Animals suitable for re-homing are then made available for purchase from the Pound Facility. Animals that are assessed as unsuitable for health or behavioral reasons are humanely euthanased.
Impound and sustenance fees
Council charges impound and sustenance fees to recover some of the costs associated with providing a pound service. Fees are charged on a daily basis, so the sooner an animal is claimed, the less it costs. All fees must be paid prior to the release of the animal.
Fines, notices and orders
After the release of your animal from the pound, you may receive further correspondence from Council about the incident that led to your animal being impounded. This may involve fines and/or notices and orders, depending on the circumstances.
In July 2020, the NSW Government introduced an annual permit system for the ownership of undesexed cats, Declared Dangerous Dogs and dogs who are of a Restricted Breed.
Along with the once off Lifetime Registration fee:
- owners of undesexed cats over four months of age are required to pay an annual permit of $80.00.
- owners of Declared Dangerous Dogs are required to pay an annual permit of $195.00.
- owners of dogs of a Restricted Breed are required to pay an annual permit of $195.00.
- American pit bull terrier,
- Pit bull terrier,
- Japanese tosa,
- dogo Argentino or fila Brasileiro,
- Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario
The owner of a Restricted Breed must comply with the control requirements under Section 56 of the Companion Animals Act 1998. One of the control requirements is for the dog to be desexed.
Further information Contact Council's Environmental Compliance Officer on 02 4995 7777.