Warrnambool City Council calls on pet owners to register their animals

Just do it: Warrnambool City Council's Local Laws coordinator Peter McArdle, with husky Arabella, wants dog and cat owners to register their animals.

Just do it: Warrnambool City Council's Local Laws coordinator Peter McArdle, with husky Arabella, wants dog and cat owners to register their animals.

Warrnambool City Council Acting Local Laws manager Peter McArdle husky Arabella.

Warrnambool City Council Acting Local Laws manager Peter McArdle husky Arabella.

About 800 stray or unwanted pets were taken to Warrnambool’s pound over the past year.

A Warrnambool City Council report shows of that figure, 627 were reclaimed or adopted, while 137 were euthanised. 

The council is encouraging pet owners to micro-chip and register their pets, after the report showed local laws officers responded to about 30 animal requests per week.

The report says the officer’s first endeavour is to reunite pets with their owners, however it was not always possible.

“We impound on average 20 dogs and 10 cats per month due to no registration tag or microchip number,” it said.

City amenity manager Glenn Reddick said all cats and dogs in Victoria needed to be registered by law.

“Pet registrations helps pay for facilities such as the animal shelter, off-lead areas, responsible pet ownership information, sessions at schools as well as Local Laws officers who respond to hundreds of callouts for stray animals each year,” he said.

“Registering your pet is not the same as micro-chipping. While your pet only needs to be micro-chipped once, registration needs to be paid every year.”

Mr Reddick said all pet owners should have received letters and reminders regarding renewing their pet registration.

“We’ve still got about 600 unregistered animals despite follow up letters,” he said.

“Council will be looking to take enforcement action which can include fines. It’s important for the council to know where the animal lives to keep it safe and to protect the community when animals stray or are involved in attacks.” 

There are more than 6000 registered pets, incorporating about 4000 dogs and 1500 cats. 

All cats and dogs over three months of age need to be registered. If this is the first time they have been registered, they will also need to be micro-chipped.

Pensioners are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on pet registrations.

If you have cats or dogs, but did not receive a letter, contact the council on 5559 4800.

The report says in recent months there has been an influx of feral cats being presented at the council’s animal shelter.

The RSPCA manages the Warrnambool pound facility on behalf of the council.