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Responsible pet ownership

Legal Responsibilities

Victorian legislation requires all dogs and cats over 3 months of age to be registered with their local Council. You do not need to register other animals, such as birds, fish or rabbits.

If you do choose a dog or a cat for your pet, then it is important that you de-sex microchip and register your dog or cat.
To claim the pensioner discount, you must provide evidence that you hold a current valid Pensioner Concession Card. Health Care Card holders are not eligible for the pensioner discount..

If you have more than 2 dogs or 2 cats in a house, you will need to apply for an excess animal permit from Council before you can register your new pet.

Tips for Looking after your pet

Deciding to become a pet owner requires considered thought and planning. You must be ready to take on all the responsibilities that come with owning a pet before you choose a breed of animal. It is important to make a choice that suits your lifestyle and priorities.

To help you make the right choice, see choosing a pet on the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.
Being a responsible pet owner ensures you and your pet can enjoy a long and happy relationship.

Exercising your dog

Dog owners must keep their dog in effective control with a chain, cord or leash held by the owner and attached to the dog while the dog is in any public place, other than in a designated off-leash area or park.

The prime areas of the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, east of Barker’s Creek, will remain on-lead dog areas and the children’s playground will remain an area where dogs are prohibited.

Restricted Breeds

If you own a dog that has been declared dangerous, menacing or restricted breed you must declare this at the time of registration. Heavy penalties apply for owners who fail to declare this information or do not comply with the obligations and responsibilities outlined in the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

There are five specific breed or breed type dogs make up a Restricted Breed Dog throughout the State of Victoria, these breeds include: Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japenese Tosa, Perro De Presa Canario and the more commonly known, Pit Bull Terrier


In accordance with the Domestic (Feral & Nuisance) Animals Act 1994, all dogs and cats over the age of 3 months are required to be registered with their local Council .

On the spot penalties can apply to any dog caught wandering at large and not under effective control throughout the State of Victoria. These fines are usually quite expensive and if your dog is unlucky enough to be impounded, add to that, the cost an impounding fee and you may be forced to pay costs in excess of $250.00 to have your dog back with you

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