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Responsible pet ownership

Find out how to be a responsible pet owner including tips for looking after your pets, fines for unregistered pets and restricted dog breeds.

Responsible pet ownership includes caring for your pet's welfare needs, along with registration, microchipping and adequate confinement of pet to your property.

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, read the choosing a pet information on the Agriculture Victoria website. Being a responsible pet owner ensures you and your pet can enjoy a long and happy relationship.

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 you de-sex microchip and register your dog or cat.

To claim a 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.

Restricted dog 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 that are restricted breed dogs in Victoria. These may be pure or cross bred Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brasileiros, Japenese Tosas, Perro De Presa Canarios and the more commonly known, Pit Bull Terrier. Read more about restricted breed dogs.

Fines

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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