Published on: 3 Jun, 2020
Pound Facts - Australian Capital Territory
Under the Domestic Animal Act, registration, microchipping and desexing are all compulsory (with exceptions, for example, you are a licensed breeder or desexing would be detrimental to your pet’s health). Where an owner refuses to do so their animal/s can be seized by those authorised under legislation (usually a Domestic Animal Services (DAS) ranger). The failure to register/desex your pet is a strict liability offence - this means unless you come under one of the exceptions there is no defence for not having done so.
If a (non-dangerous) dog is seized under the Domestic Animals Act (which it can be if it is not registered) it can be sold if it is determined that the original owner is not fit to care for the animal. The owner has seven days from receiving notice of the intention to sell the dog to appeal the decision.
What should I do if my pet is missing?
Domestic Animal Services has a website that allows people to load details of both lost and found animals along with contact details to enable animals to be reunited with their owners quickly.
What happens if I find a stray animal?
The DAS website also allows people to list animals that have been found although in the case of cats the RSPCA should also be contacted as the RSPCA cares for cats found in the ACT. The ACT also has a number of cat containment areas whereby cats are not permitted off the owner’s property. If a cat is not contained within property boundaries the cat can be collected by a ranger and the owner fined up to $1500.
Are organisations required to scan the animal for microchip details?
Before selling or rehoming any animals the authority (DAS) must identify the owner/person in charge of the animal is or if they are not known they must make reasonable enquiries to find out who the owner/person in charge is in order to provide them with written notice of the intention to sell or otherwise rehome the animal (i.e. give to welfare organisation for rehoming).
How long will my pet be held in the pound?
This will vary depending on the circumstances of which your animal has come to be in the care of DAS - for example, if your dog has been seized they can be held for 28 days prior to being rehomed.
Is a payment required for collection?
While there is usually a fee associated with holding a lost pet this fee can be waived on financial hardship grounds at the discretion of DAS.
Will they rehome or euthanise my pet?
Pets can be rehomed at the discretion of DAS and while attempts must be made to notify you that they have your pet they may determine that it’s in the best interests of the animal for it to be rehomed. Animals may also be euthanised if found to be in poor health.
Will my pet be desexed?
Animals may be desexed prior to being rehomed.
Who is responsible for registering/maintaining microchip details?
Owner/person in control of the animal.