Microchipping your animal

Owning a companion animal can be a rewarding experience, however it is also a big responsibility. Owners should ensure that their animal is healthy, well-nourished, groomed, vaccinated, microchipped, registered with council, properly exercised and socialised.


 The Companion Animals Act 1998 sets out the rules for pet ownership in NSW. This includes the requirement for dogs and cats to be microchipped and registered.

All Cats and Dogs must be permanently identified with a microchip either by:

  • 12 weeks of age
  • Point of Sale or change of ownership, whichever occurs first.
  • If you are giving away your pet, you MUST have it microchipped first.

It is the responsibility of the current owner to transfer the microchip into the new owner’s name. It is important to remember that microchipping does not take the place of registering your pet with NSW Pet Registry. 


Keeping us updated

You need to update your pet’s details when:

  • Your pet is given or sold to a new owner – update within 14 days.
  • Your pet goes missing for more than three days – update within four days.
  • You move house – update within 14 days.
  • Your pet dies – update within 28 days.

You can update these details by creating an account with NSW Pet Registry or by contacting your local council.

As an alternative to the NSW Pet Registry, pet owners can use the useful links to update details.

Working Dog Registration

A working dog is only a dog used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working, or protecting stock, and includes dogs being trained as a working dog. A working dog is still classified as a companion animal. Working dogs must be microchipped and registered but the fee for working dogs is free.

Greyhounds registered with the Greyhound Racing Authority Act 1985 do not need to be microchipped and registered.

Assistant Animal Registration

What is an Assistance Animal?

An assistance animal in NSW is a dog or other animal that is either:
1. accredited under a law of a State or Territory that provides for the accreditation of animals trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability; OR
2. accredited by an animal training organisation prescribed by the Commonwealth; OR
3. trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability, and, to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.

This is based on how assistance animals are defined in Commonwealth law (Disability Discrimination Act 1992). Currently neither the Commonwealth nor NSW laws provide for the accreditation of assistance animals. A working dog cannot also be an assistance animal.


What does the owner of an assistance dog need to do?

Like all other companion animals, assistance animals need to be micro-chipped and registered in NSW. However, no fee is charged for registering an assistance animal.
Registration lasts for the life of each animal. If you change address or your animal goes missing or dies, please notify your local council.
It is also strongly recommended that assistance animals are vaccinated and de‑sexed.

What Proof is required?

Councils are entitled to request reasonable proof that your animal is a genuine assistance animal. This means proof:
• that you have a disability.
• that your animal has been trained to alleviate the effect of the disability; and
• that your animal is trained to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.
Importantly, a person with a disability has the right to train their own assistance animal so long as he or she can provide proof that that training means the animal meets the definition of an assistance animal. 
Refer to the Exercise of Functions Guidelines or contact your local council for advice about what kinds of proof are acceptable.
Registration as an assistance animal under the Companion Animals Act 1998 does not necessarily provide proof the animal is an assistance animal for the purposes of entering a public place or public transport.

How do I register my assistance animal?

Once the animal has been microchipped by a vet or authorised identifier, the owner should contact their local council to apply for a no fee registration.

Companion Animal Desexing and Rebates

Need a little convincing that desexing is right for your pet? It can take just two years for one female cat and her offspring to produce around 20,000 kittens. In only five years, one female dog and her offspring can produce approximately 20,000 puppies. Many of these offspring don’t end up finding their forever homes. Some are dumped or left to fend for themselves on the streets. They become targets for cruelty, suffer from disease and starvation, and have to fight every single day for their survival. Others end up in pounds and shelters, putting greater strain on public resources.

Is your pet desexed? 

When you desex your pet, you’re doing yourself, your pet and your community a big favour. Here's why;  

There are many reasons why pet owners should desex their pets. As well as helping to stop pet overpopulation, the following are some of the other benefits associated with desexing cats and dogs.

  • Reduced risk of getting cancer or other diseases of the reproductive organs, such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer/disorders in males, and cystic ovaries, ovarian tumors, acute uterine infections and breast cancer in females, and also other diseases like mammary cancer, perianal tumors and perianal hernias.
  • Females can suffer from physical and nutritional exhaustion if continually breeding.
  • Pets generally live longer and healthier lives.
  • Pets are less prone to wander, fight, and are less likely to get lost or injured.
  • Reduces territorial behaviour such as spraying urine indoors.
  • Less likely to suffer from anti-social behaviours. They become more affectionate and become better companions.
  • Eliminates “heat” cycles in female cats and their efforts to get outside in search for a mate.
  • Reduces male dogs’ urge to “mount” people’s legs.
  • Reduces the cost to the community of having to care for unwanted puppies and kittens in pounds and shelters.
  • No additional food or vet bills for the offspring.
  • No need to find homes for unwanted or unexpected litters of puppies or kittens.
  • Save money from expensive surgeries from car accidents or fights, which are less likely to occur if your pet doesn’t roam around.
  • Dumping puppies and kittens is an ethical cost, as well as being illegal and inhumane.


What is the National Desexing Network?

The National Desexing Network (NDN) is an Australia-wide referral system giving pet owners in financial need access to low-cost desexing. NDN's goal is to end pet overpopulation by making desexing available and more affordable to pet owners who need it most. If you’re a pet owner you could be eligible for discounted desexing for your pet, directly on-line if you are a pension/concession card holder; or through calling our NDN team to access a Desexing program.

July is National Desexing Month

During July local veterinary clinics can register with the NDN to provide desexing services at a discounted rate. Refer to the NDN link below for more information.

National Desexing Network