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Domestic Animals

Lost pets, animal registrations and renewals, pet ownership responbilities, fines and fees, fact sheets, animal welfare links.

Lost pets

Check our Lost Animals page for regular updates, or phone the Bairnsdale Animal Shelter on 03 5152 1389. The Shelter is located at 40 Giles Street Bairnsdale and is open 10.00 am to 2.30 pm weekdays and 10.00am to 12.00 pm weekends.


Registering your pet

All animals aged 3 months and over must be microchipped and registered Animal Registration Online Form . See our Animal fees and fines page for details of current fees.


Owning a pet - your responsibilitiesdog.jpg


How many pets can I have?

Residential areas: 2 cats, 2 dogs, no guinea fowl or roosters, 4 poultry hens, no roosters, 4 domestic birds, 4 domestic mice, 2 guinea pigs, 2 domestic rabbits. No other livestock is allowed. (Puppies or kittens of registered dogs and cats are not counted in these numbers for the first 16 weeks after their birth.


Farming areas: 6 cats, 6 dogs, 20 guinea fowl and roosters, 20 poultry including 2 roosters, 100 domestic birds, 10 domestic mice, 10 guinea pigs, 2 domestic rabbits. (Puppies or kittens of registered dogs and cats are not counted in these numbers for the first 16 weeks after their birth.)

If you want to Keep more than the prescribed amount of animals please complete the Application to Keep More Than Allowed Animals .


Responsible Pet Ownership

Council supports a free Responsible Pet Ownership program and has a number of Fact Sheets  to assist pet owners. Department of Environment Land Water and Planning website also has relevant information:


You must:

  • Microchip dogs and cats over 3 months of age.
  • Register each dog and cat you own aged over 3 months and pay the fee.  
  • Prevent your dog chasing or attacking people or other animals.
  • Control your dog in public, or keep it confined to your property.
  • Contain cats at all times.
  • Stop you pet straying onto another person's property, if the person objects.
  • Make sure your dog doesn't bark persistently.
  • Clean up your animal's droppings.
  • Obey Council orders to have your dog on a leash or to dispose of its droppings.
  • Obey Council orders about keeping your animals confined to your property.

Animals on beaches and foreshores

Animals must not swim in beach areas or stay in foreshore reserves between 1 November and 30 April in each year. Refer to Schedule 6 of the General Local Law 2017


Fees and fines

You can be fined on-the-spot for breaking the law relating to dogs and cats. Serious or repeat offences may be heard in a Magistrates Court where higher fines and costs apply. In the case of a dog attack, your dog may also be destroyed. See our Fees and fines page for more information. 


Cat Curfew

Council enacted the cat curfew provisions pursuant to Section 25 of the Domestic Animals Act.

Effective from 1 January 2003 it is an offence for cats to be found at large outside the premises of the owner or not securely confined to the owners premises at ANY TIME of the day or night. More information and tips on cat curfews.


Problem dogs

The state government has laws controlling dangerous, aggressive and restricted breed dogs. Dogs who bark continually may also be a problem. For more information on what you can do, visit our Problem dogs page.  


Pet fact sheets

Pet Ownership Fact Sheets

Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-2021


Animal welfare contacts

Animal Adoptions (Victorian Animal Aid Trust)

Central Animal Records (Microchip Register)

Wildlife Victoria  (Injured Wildlife)

RSPCA (Animal Cruelty and Neglect)



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