Published on: 4 Jun, 2020
Pound facts - Victoria
The Domestic Animal Act provides that it is a legal requirement for your pet to be registered with your local council and to have appropriate identification.
Under s10C of this Act, council’s must not register a dog or cat unless they have been permanently identified (i.e. have been microchipped) unless they are exempt. It is also worth noting that councils may also refuse to register your pet if it is not desexed or subject to an appropriate exemption (ie. breeding certificate).
In some instances, council officers are also permitted to seize animals that are not registered (for example if you have received an infringement notice for not registering your pet and after which you still fail to do so).
What should I do if my pet is missing?
If you have lost your pet a good starting point is to follow the steps outlined here. In Victoria, there are also a range of available resources such as the Victorian Lost Pet Register which can be accessed here via Facebook.
What happens if I find a stray animal?
If you seize a stray or lost animal the law requires you to take that animal, as soon as is reasonably possible, to the pound of the municipal district in which the dog or cat is found. Additional information is also available on the PetRescue site here.
Are organisations required to scan the animal for microchip details?
Every animal admitted to a shelter or pound must be scanned for any permanent identification device.
Are Councils required to collect stray animals?
This varies from council to council. Some will collect an animal; others will request you take the animal to them (and they may provide you with a trap to help you contain the animal yourself). More information is available via Agriculture Victoria including how to respond to injured wildlife and stray livestock.
How long will my pet be held in the pound?
7-14 days however this varies from council to council.
Is a payment required for collection?
Holding fee will likely be payable on collection of your pet however these too will vary from council to council.
Will they rehome or euthanise my pet?
At the conclusion of the statutory period specified in the Domestic Animals Act 1994 for seized or surrendered animals, animals must be:
made available for rehoming to a new owner, or
euthanased because of disease, injury, behaviour, age, unsuitability for sale, or
placed in appropriate foster care and returned at an appropriate date for rehoming, or
released under a written agreement to a person or body which operates in accordance with the Act to care for and dispose of the animal, at the discretion of the operations manager or veterinary practitioner.
Legislation in Victoria makes it possible for individual councils to make local laws regarding domestic animals.
For example in the Yarra Ranges, cats are subject to a curfew and must be kept within the confines of a residents property boundary at all times while other councils simply encourage owners to take a similar approach.
If a council has made a local law prohibiting the keeping of dogs or cats in a specified area of the municipal district of the council, a Council authorised officer for that municipal district may destroy any prohibited animal found at large in that area.
Will my pet be desexed?
All animals sold from a pound or shelter must be microchipped, wormed, desexed and vaccinated. Councils may order that an owner cannot collect their animal unless desexed, microchipped and registered.
Who is responsible for registering/maintaining microchip details?
An animal’s owner is responsible for maintaining registration and microchip details. In the case of an animal in an animal shelter or pound for rehoming the animal should be registered to the shelter or pound rather than an individual.