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, and to make the registration process easy for you, use the Animal Registration Form and sign your pet up now!

To receive animal notices for the 2022-2023 year by email rather than by paper, please Register Online.

Application fees and how to pay below.

Applications and forms
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Animal Fees and Fines

Pay online

Registration of domestic animals is required under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

All dogs and cats aged 3 months of age or older must be registered. Registration renewal is due on 10 April each year, and renewal notices are sent out automatically. For details on how to pay, please go to our pay online page.

To register your pet for the first time you need to complete an Animal Registration Form. Complete this form and bring it into the nearest Customer Service Centre, along with your payment and documents as required on the form.

To receive future notices by email rather than by paper, please Register Online.

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 included 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.


Animal registration fees and classifications - valid 11 April 2020 to 10 April 2021

  • Unsterilised male/female animal: $188
  • Working dog: $34
  • Animals kept for breeding (registered with Council) $63
  • Pensioner unsterilised male/female animal: $93.80
  • Pensioner desexed animal and registered before 10 April 2013: $32
  • Dog or Cat over 10 years age: $63
  • Sterilised male/female animal: $63
  • Registered with an Applicable Association: $34
  • Dog Obedience Certificate: $63
  • Dog or Cat which is microchipped and registered before 10 April 2013: $63
  • Pensioner Microchipped and Desexed: $17
  • Microchipped and Desexed: $34

Read more Animal registration fees and classifications - valid 11 April 2020 to 10 April 2021.

Animal Shelter

Volunteers from Victorian Animal Aid manage the Animal Shelter on behalf of Council, located at 40 Giles Street Bairnsdale.

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday - 11:00 am to 3.00pm

Weekends and Public Holidays- 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

40 Giles Street, Bairnsdale

Tel. 5152 1389

Lost Pets

Adopt a Pet

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

Responsible Pet Ownership

Council supports a 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 pet ownership; from tips on choosing the right pet, looking after the welfare of your pet and looking at 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 also been paid.
  • 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. Stop your pet straying onto another person's property, if the person objects.
  • Look after your dog's needs. A happy dog is one who's 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.

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 it may be declared 'dangerous' or ‘menacing’, depending on its behaviour. Council will notify you if this happens and give you an opportunity to comment.

You will have 28 days to appeal to Council against a declaration.

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 enclosure (specified in the Act).
  • Erect signs on the property saying 'Warning Dangerous Dog' which are clearly visible from outside the property.
  • Leash your dog at all times when outside your property (no exceptions).
  • Follow other requirements relating to temporary care of the dog.
  • Notify Council of certain 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. 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 Council.

Sample Barking Dog Neighbour Advise Letter

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This page was last published on: 
Tuesday, February 23, 2021