Published on: 5 Jun, 2020
Pound facts - Western Australia
Desexing, animal registration & microchipping
Both the Cat Act 2011 and the Dog Act 1976 provide for the identification, registration and desexing of domestic cats and dogs. These laws also give power to local governments to administer and enforce these requirements.
The Cat Act requires cats to be microchipped by six months of age and they must be microchipped when they are transferred to a new owner (no matter what age).
Under the legislation, dogs are not permitted to be in public without a collar and registration tags. Dogs must be registered from three months of age or when ownership is transferred (regardless of dog's age).
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.
These pages are volunteer/not for profit run pages so requirements for these pages vary. While details of how these pages are run is generally provided in the ‘about’ section as a general rule:
if listing an animal as lost you should ensure microchip and registration details are up to date so that if your pet is located you can be contacted
if you find an animal you should contact your local council or see if a vet can scan the animal for a microchip, then contact these groups as appropriate to notify them of a found animal.
What happens if I find a stray animal?
You should notify the local council if you come across what appears to be a stray animal to enable its collection by a ranger.
Are councils required to collect stray animals?
Councils will collect animals that are reported to them and some councils may also ask that you restrain/contain the animal in question to prevent it from wandering off prior to being collected.
How long will my pet be held in the pound?
Varies across council areas with some permitted to sell an impounded animal after as little as three days (i.e. Albany) whereas other councils may hold an animal for up to seven days. If you suspect or have been notified by a local council that they have your animal you should enquire as to how long they will hold the animal (and the fees you will incur as a result of them doing so).
The WA Local Government Association Directory provides contact details for every council.
Is a payment required for collection?
Yes. This varies considerably from council to council. Fees may include a collection fee and a daily holding fee. If the animal is not registered or microchipped councils may undertake this prior to releasing the animal back to its owner and the owner will be required to pay the relevant costs.
Will my pet be rehomed or euthanised?
Most councils work with local rescue groups to rehome animals that have not been claimed following the expiration of the council’s holding time. As with other states, animals that are considered to be sick or injured by an authorised person (i.e. a ranger or vet) may be euthanised.
Will my pet be desexed?
There is nothing in the legislation that suggests your pet will be desexed prior to being reclaimed although as noted above, cats and dogs are required by law to be desexed.
Councils have the authority to make local laws in relation to domestic cats and dogs and may make a law making it a requirement that an animal is desexed prior to being released back to its owner - an example of this is the City of Armadale.
Who is responsible for registering/maintaining microchip details?
While the owner is required to maintain these details often when an animal has not been claimed and is with a rescue group or pound ownership will transfer to whoever is rehoming the animal. Once rehomed, this responsibility then falls to the new owner.