Companion Animals and Pets
Australia has one of the highset rates of pet ownership in the world. For most Australians, our pets are our friends and companions, however, there are a small number of people who do not care for their animals responsibly. These animals often become a problem for the community.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 (NSW) is designed to benefit pets, their owners and the wider community.
The permanent identification and lifetime registration system governed by the Companion Animals Act greatly helps Council return lost and injured animals to their owners and provides a more effective means of keeping track of dogs and cats for the benefit of the wider community.
Companion Animals Registration
As a Companion Animal owner, you have a responsibility to ensure that the information on the NSW Companion Animals Register is up to date and correct.
You can correct or update the information on your animals Certificate by contacting any local Council. You may need to provide your request in writing before Council can amend the animals record.
The owner of an identified companion animal (whether or not it is registered) must notify the Register when any of the following happens:
- Any change occurs in the animal details due to a change of address; change of contact details; or the animal is sold or given away (written notification must be given within 14 days after the change occurs). Click here to download the appropriate form;
- The making or revocation of a declaration by a court that a dog is dangerous (written notification must be given within seven days after the declaration is made or revoked);
- The animal dies (notifications may be made by phone, in writing or in person and must be given within 28 days after the animal dies). Where enforcement action is being taken, then a notification in writing may be requested accompanied by a statement from a vet that an animal has been euthanased or has passed away.
- The animal has been missing for more than 72 hours (notifications may be made by phone, in writing or in person). Notification that an animal has subsequently been found must also be made within 72 hours of the animal being found after having been reported missing.
Council cannot charge a fee for changing information on the Companion Animals register. Council will provide the owner of the animal a new Certificate once the changes have been processed.
Transferring Ownership of a Companion Animal
If you are looking to sell or give away your animal, you should obtain a copy of a 'Change of Owner / Details' form from any local Council or click the link above. Both you and the new owner will have to complete and sign this form. As the 'old' owner, you have the responsibility of sending the completed form to any local Council within 14 days of selling or giving the animal away.
Failure to notify the Register may result in a penalty. In addition, as long as you are the recorded owner of the animal, you may be liable for any penalties or expenses incurred if the animal attacks someone or damages somebody else's property.
Further information relating to companion animals can be found:
- On the Office of Local Government, Companion Animal webpage at: http://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/public/dogs-and-cats
- Animal and Complaints FAQ
- Companion Animals
- Looking after your puppy
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979