Pet Ownership

Overview

We recognise that animals can bring much joy to family life. For the benefit of both pet and owner, West Wimmera Shire Council endorses Responsible Pet Ownership. This includes registering your pet and abiding by Council laws regarding walking your dog and disposing of their waste appropriately.

Pet registration

If you have a dog or cat, you must:

  • Microchip and register at three months of age.
  • Renew the registration every year by 10 April.
  • Advise Council if you change address or the animal is deceased.
  • You may be fined if your cat or dog is over three months old and is not registered, and
  • You must follow particular restrictions in relation to restricted breeds of dogs.

When you register a dog or cat, Council knows the pet's owner and address, and how many dogs and cats you own. In West Wimmera Shire Council you are permitted to have two dogs and/or two cats in the township on land up to 0.4 hectare and fours dogs and/or four cats in the township on land greater than 0.4 hectare. A Community Local Law Application for Permit form will need to be completed if you exceed these limits.

You do not need to register pets like birds, fish and small animals.

How to renew your pet registration

If you have a dog or cat, you must renew the registration every year by 10 April. Council sends you a reminder for renewal in the mail. Once you pay, your pet's registration is renewed for another year.

Registration tags

West Wimmera Shire Council issues lifetime registration tags. While registration must be renewed each year, the tags do not need to be replaced unless lost or stolen.

Your pet must wear its registration tag at all times when it is off your property.

Lost your pet's registration tag?

There is a fee payable for replacement tags. Contact Council to arrange a new tag or to notify of a change to your animal or owner.

Registration Fees

Rate

Unsterilised

Desexed/Over 10 years

Working dog on rural property

Membership of applicable organisation (eg Dogs Victoria)

Dogs with accredited training

Full Fee

$114

$38

$38

$38

$38

Pension Rate

$57

$19

$19

$19

$19

A half-year fee is charged if you register your dog or cat after December 1.

Recent legislative changes to the Domestic Animal Act 1994 have led to reduced fees for microchipping no longer being applied. This will only affect pets registered on or after 11 April 2013. Existing registrations will still have the reduction.

Microchipping

What is microchipping?

A microchip is a small computer chip with a unique number on it. It is the size of a grain of rice. It is put into the loose skin of an animal's neck. Microchipping takes a few seconds, is painless and is a permanent identification method for your pet.

After microchipping, the vet gives information about your pet, and your name and address to the Australian Animal Registry.

A microchip is a great way to ensure your pet is permanently identified as yours. This means that if your pet gets out or becomes lost, they have a greater chance of being returned to you.

Microchipping is not a substitute for Council pet registration.

On May 1 2007, it became mandatory that all cats or dogs which are being registered for the first time must be microchipped prior to registration.

Where to get your pet microchipped?

Pounds and vets provide microchipping.

Keep your pets records up to date

If you change your address, contact details or need to update your information, you must notify Council to ensure your animal has accurate contact details.

Microchip Provider

If you change your address, contact details or need to update your information, you must also notify the microchip register.

Animal Limitations

Council is responsible for ensuring animals are safe and are kept by their owners to the standard set out in Local Law 11.1 – Keeping Animals. Under this law, owners are required to keep animals within the perimeters described below for any particular animal.

TYPE OF ANIMAL

LAND 0.4HA OR LESS

LAND GREATER THAN 0.4 HA

Dogs

2

4

Cats

2

4

Poultry - Rooster

1

1

Poultry -

10

10 or more

Birds such as cockatoos

1

n/a

Ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits or rodents

5

5 or more

Reptiles

2

2 or more

Horses

0

2

Sheep, alpacas and goats

0 – except up to four sheep may be kept on land during the declared fire danger period

2 – except up to four sheep may be kept on land during the declared fire danger period

Cows

0

1

Pigs

0

0

The offspring of any dog or cat lawfully kept will be exempt for a period of 12 weeks after their birth.

Special Permit

If you feel that there are special circumstances in regards to your individual situation that sit outside of the above regulations, you will need to complete a Community Local Law Application for Permit form. Once the request is received, the responsible officer will assess the appropriateness of the request. This may entail a visit to your premises and contacting neighbours in order to gather information about your individual situation.

Restricted Breeds

The following breeds of dog are restricted within West Wimmera Shire and cannot be kept:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier);
  • Fila Brasileiro;
  • Japanese Tosa;
  • Dogo Argentino;
  • Perro de Presa Canario (or Presa Canario).

These breeds are considered an unacceptable risk to community safety, whether or not an individual dog has attacked a person or another animal, or displayed signs of aggression. Penalties apply for violations.