Animals and Pets
Animals and Pets
Information about lost and found pets, dogs in public places, off leash areas, dog and cat registrations, renewals and fees.
Registering your pet

Under state legislation, it is a requirement for all dogs and cats aged 3 months and over to be microchipped and registered.

Registering your pet, ensuring that they wear their Council tag and keeping your contact details current is the best way to keep them safe and to have them returned home to you if they do get out.

Dogs and cats that are currently registered and are wearing their tag will, in most cases, be taken straight back home to you and not taken to the pound, avoiding extra costs for you.

Council would much rather your pet be safe and securely confined at home than on the road or even in our care.

Register here if you'd like to get your animal notices by email instead of by post.

Applications and forms

Pet care and management

As good pet owners, it is our responsibility to provide the love, care and attention necessary to make sure our pets are happy and healthy, and to keep our pets safe and under control. For handy hints and information, take a look at our handy guide to cat and dog owner requirements and responsibilities.

Pay online

Registration renewal is due on 10 April each year; you will be sent a renewal notice each year. For details on how to pay, please go to our pay online page.

Domestic Animal Management Plan

Domestic Animal Management Plan 2021-25

There are currently no plans to display.
Please check back soon.

How many pets can I have?

Residential areas:

2 cats

2 dogs

No guinea fowl or roosters

4 poultry hens

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 included in these numbers for the first 12 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 12 weeks after their birth.

If you want to keep more than the number of animals allowed, you need to fill in an Application to Keep More Than Allowed Animals.

Fees and fines – valid 11 April 2023 to 10 April 2024

Animal registration fees and classifications

- Unsterilised animal - $194.00

- Working dog - $35.00

- Animals kept for breeding (DABs registered with Council) - $65.00

- Pensioner unsterilised male/female animal - $96.00

- Pensioner sterilised animal and registered before 10 April 2013 - $33.00

- Dog or cat over 10 years age - $65.00

- Sterilised male/female animal - $65.00

- Registered with an applicable organisation - $35.00

- Dog obedience certificate - $65.00

- Dog or cat which is microchipped and registered before 10 April 2013 - $65.00

- Microchipped and sterilised (pensioner) - $17.80

- Microchipped and sterilised - $35.00

some fees based on meeting requirements as determined by the Domestic Animals Act and Domestic Animals Regulations 2015. Please contact Council for more information.

Animal Shelter and Lost Pets

Animal Aid manages the animal shelter on our behalf.

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 11.00 am to 3.00 pm

Weekends and Public Holidays 10.30 am to 12.30 pm

Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

40 Giles Street, Bairnsdale

Tel. 03 5152 1389

If you've lost a pet, check the Animal Aid Lost pets website.

What should you do if your pet is missing?

Adopting a pet

If you would like to adopt a pet, please visit Adopt an Animal at Victorian Animal Aid at

Responsible pet ownership

We support the free Responsible Pet Ownership program and has a number of fact sheets to assist.

The Victorian Government website also has a wealth of information around dog and cat ownership, from tips on choosing the right pet, to looking after the welfare of your pet and your legal responsibilities as a pet owner.

In summary, some of your responsibilities include:

  • Microchip and register all of your dogs and cats over 3 months of age. Registration is complete when the form has been filled in and submitted, supporting documents have been provided and the relevant fee has been paid. A subsidy is available for a limited time to de-sex and microchip your pet. Apply here.
  • Make sure your fences are secure, and your doors and gates are kept closed. This is important not only when you're away from home, but also when you are home and go through them to ensure that your dog is safe at home where they should be. Many times, when we contact dog owners to say we've found them, they assume their dog is in their yard. Not only that, over 80% of dog attacks occur just outside the dog's property because they can escape and wander the streets. Backyard is best.
  • Don't let your dog approach, chase or attack people or other animals. Not everyone loves your dog as you do and some people, especially children, are scared of any dog that approaches.
  • Have effective control of your dog in public. When out and about, make sure your dog is with someone capable of restraining them at all times. If you can't be sure of that, leave them at home. Plan ahead and don't take them out if you have to tie them up somewhere - its not fun for them to be left alone.
  • Contain cats to your property at all times. Cat Curfew Provisions, pursuant to Section 25 of the Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 1994, makes it an offence for cats to be found at large outside the premises of the owner or not securely confined to the owner's premises at anytime of the day or night.
  • Look after your dog's needs. A happy dog is one whose needs are met, like food, water, comfortable sleeping space, plenty of interaction and socialising - dogs are pack animals. If your dog is not content it may start to display nuisance behaviours, such as barking, digging and being destructive. If barking becomes and issue, take your dog for a health check to make sure there's no underlying medical reason for the barking. Obedience training can also benefit nuisance behaviours.
  • Clean up after your animal and dispose of the litter appropriately.

Download these handy PDFs for more tips on caring for your cat or dog.

What to do about noisy or dangerous dogs

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 you may be responsible for any damage or injury caused by your dog if it attacks a person or animal. Help prevent dog attacks by always supervising your dog around children or other animals.

If Council receives a complaint about your dog attacking it may be declared 'dangerous' or ‘menacing’, depending on the nature of the attack.

Council will notify you if this happens. If Council intends to declare your dog dangerous or menacing we will send you a proposal and give you an opportunity to comment within 14 days.

If your dog is declared dangerous or menacing, strict controls apply. You must:

  • Restrain the dog on your own land by keeping it indoors at all times or in an approved enclosure (specified in the Act).
  • Erect approved signs on the property saying 'Warning Dangerous Dog' which are clearly visible from outside the property.
  • Dog must be on leash at all times, wearing a prescribed collar and muzzled when outside your property (no exceptions).
  • Owner must advise Council within 24 hours of where a change to where the dog is being kept, or if the ownership changes.
  • Notify Council of prescribed events.

The leaflet Dangerous Dogs has more information.

Noisy dogs

The Domestic Animals Act 1994 defines a nuisance being when a dog creates a noise, by barking or otherwise, which persistently occurs or continues to such a degree or extent that it unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort or convenience of any person.

Barking dog problems are rarely solved by enforcement action and can take some time to resolve. In extreme cases the matter could be heard in front of a magistrate.

If you are annoyed by the noise from your neighbour’s dog, try to solve the problem first by talking it over with your neighbours. They may not realise their dog is causing a problem and in many cases they will be happy to do what they can to help.

If this fails, you can make a complaint to us.

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