When an animal is picked up by a Local Laws Officer it is checked for a microchip and Council registration tag. If the animal is microchipped and registered with Council it may be returned directly to the owner, if there is someone at home to receive the dog or cat from an Officer. Officers will not return an animal home and leave it in your yard.
If the animal is not microchipped and has no identifying tags it is taken to the pound and given food and water. Officers check Council's database of reported missing animals. If Council can match an animal with an owner then the owner is contacted.
If you've lost or found a pet you can also go to Council's Facebook page at Animals of Mitchell Shire.
Like our page to see what's been impounded, or post a photo and some details of your own lost or found pet.
When an owner does not come forward for an animal it is kept in the animal refuge for 8 days and is vaccinated. After 8 days the animal becomes the legal property of the Council.
Animals impounded for longer than 8 days are temperament tested to ensure suitability for re-homing and then transferred to the Save-A-Dog scheme. The Save-A-Dog scheme has a no kill philosophy.
For more information on the Save-A-Dog scheme please refer to the website www.saveadog.org.au
Current registration fees as of 10 April 2013:
- Full Fee - $120
Pensioners - $60
- Reduced Fee - $40
Pensioners - $20
What to do if you have lost your cat or dog.
If you have lost your pet you should immediately register with council. The Local Laws Department keep a database of missing animals. This list is checked when an animal is brought into the refuge. You should also ask your neighbours if they have seen your pet and it may help to put notices up on community notice boards and shop windows.
You can contact Council on (03) 5734 6200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you've lost or found a pet you can also go to Council's Facebook page Animals of Mitchell Shire
What to do if you have found a cat or dog.
- Confine or tie up the animal only if safe to do so
- If the animal is wearing a Council tag; write down the tag number and colour
- Call the Local Laws Department of Council on (03) 5734 6200
If you give permission for your details to be passed on to the owner then the owner will be advised to call you directly. If Council cannot contact the owner immediately then an Officer will collect the animal. If the animal has no identification then a Council Officer will collect the animal and check it for a microchip.
It is very important that you do not keep the animal for any period of time. Most responsible pet owners are distressed when their pets have gone missing and will have contacted council to advise of the missing pet. Keeping of a dog or cat that does not belong to you is an offence.
Please do not take the animal to another shire. This makes it extremely less likely that the animal will be reunited with its owners.
Can I adopt an animal I have found?
If you have found an animal and you would like to adopt it you must follow the legal procedure.
- You must hand the animal into Council so they can try and find the owners
- If after 8 days the owners have not come forward you may be able to adopt the animal
If you are interested in adopting a Council animal (cat or dog) you should register your interest with the Central Highlands Veterinary Clinic on (03) 5784 1088. All Council animals are vet checked before being rehomed. A Council animal cannot be rehomed unless it is desexed, microchipped and registered.
What are the costs of getting my pet out of the animal refuge?
State legislation requires that all cats and dogs be microchipped and registered. If your pet has been collected by Council it will be required to be microchipped and registered before it is released to you. You will also be charged an Impound Release Fee.
Microchipping of a pet is only done once. Pet registration is an annual requirement.
Current charges as at April 2012
- Impound release fee $85.00
- Registration of a microchipped dog or cat $38.00 Pensioners $19.00
- Microchip implanting $50.00
Can I be fined for my dog not being registered or for wandering?
Section 10 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 states:
Requirement to apply for registration:
(1) The owner of a dog or cat must apply to register that dog or cat with the Council of the municipal district in which the dog or cat is kept, if the animal is over 3 months old.
Infringement of $282.00 applies*
(2) The owner of a dog or cat which is registered must apply for renewal of the registration of that dog or cat with the Council of the municipal district in which the dog or cat is kept, before the expiration of the current registration.
Infringement of $282.00 applies*
Section 24 states:
Dogs found at large
(1) If a dog is found at large outside the premises of the owner or not securely confined to the owner's premises, between sunrise and sunset, the owner is guilty of an offence and liable to receive an infringement for $211*
(2) If a dog is found at large outside the premises of the owner or not securely confined to the owner's premises between sunset and sunrise, the owner is guilty of an offence and liable to receive an Infringement for $282.00*
*Infringement amounts with effect from 1 July 2012