LOSING your beloved pet can be an upsetting and stressful situation for the whole family.
If your pet is registered and microchipped, however, your dog or cat has a much higher chance of being returned to you if it ends up in an animal shelter or vet clinic.
Pet registrations this year are due on April 10, with notices due to arrive in mailboxes within the next week.
Under Victorian law, every cat and dog three months of age and over must be registered with their local council.
Pets being registered for the first time must also be microchipped prior to registration.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, said registering your pet is a key part of being a responsible owner.
“No family wants to experience the distress of losing a pet,” Cr Rothfield said.
“If your cat or dog does go missing, one of the best ways to ensure it can be returned to you is for your pet to be registered and wearing a council identification tag, and it’s also important to make sure your contact details are kept up-to-date, including your current address and phone number.”
As of April 10, 2017, two new orders in relation to the responsible ownership of cats in the shire will also come into effect.
From this date, the council will not register a new cat unless the cat is de-sexed or is exempt under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 and cat owners will be required to contain their cats to their property between sunset and sunrise, unless restrained and in the presence of their owner.
Cr Rothfield said the aim of the new orders are to protect wildlife, reduce instances of cats causing a nuisance to neighbours, reducing unwanted litters of kittens and, ultimately, making all cats safer.
“Roaming cats, both domestic and feral, have a significant impact on our environment,” Cr Rothfield said.
“On average, the council receives around 150 requests each year from people wanting to borrow one of the council’s free cat traps to deal with a nuisance cat on their property and responds to around 80 complaints in relation to cats at large, indicating that stray cats are causing a nuisance.”
When it comes to feral cats, the council is working closely with Phillip Island Nature Parks and Parks Victoria who are active on the ground implementing feral cat reduction programs on French Island and Phillip Island.
For more information on cat ownership and the new controls, contact the council’s Local Laws Team at local.laws@basscoast.vic.gov.au, or call them on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or 5671 2211.
If you have a new pet, you can also chat to the Local Laws Team about what you need to do to register them.