We understand that pet emergencies can be a frightening and emotional experience. There’s plenty of misinformation out there – so we’d like to clear up some common misconceptions about how the Community Safety Unit operates.
MYTH 1: Fines are mandatory if your dog or cat is found wandering
If our Community Safety Team members find your pet wandering the streets, they will gladly return it to you.
Only serial escapees or animals that are found not registered and microchipped will be fined.
MYTH 2: It’s better to report wandering pets to Facebook without involving Council
Wrong. Animal thieves are known to target lost and found groups on social media.
Also, when someone holds a wandering animal at their premises and posts it on Facebook they are actually doing a disservice to the pet and its owners.
In most cases, the owner will be out looking for the animal in public areas and may have already reported it missing to Council.
The best thing to do is contain the animal and notify Council. The ranger can then scan for microchips and return the animal safely and quickly.
MYTH 3: The pound is overrun with neglected animals
Not at all. The percentage of dogs and cats that are returned to their owners or re-housed had increased considerably in recent years.
This is possible because the vast majority of animals are now microchipped.
If an animal is kept at the pound, it is usually because it is not microchipped and therefore Council is taking longer than usual to find its owners.
MYTH 4: Microchipping and registration are the same thing
No, they aren’t. The microchipping of an animal doesn’t mean it is registered.
Animal registration is state legislation, not a law created by Council. It is no different than a car registration in the fact that it is up to the owner to ensure the renewal is paid every 12 months.
Owners of domestic animals found to be unregistered, or which haven’t had their registration renewed, can be fined $330 per animal.
Likewise, it is an offence to have an animal in your possession that is not microchipped (Domestic Animals Act). This is separate to animal registration and can incur a separate infringement.
MYTH 5: Community Safety Officers are heavy handed
All of our officers are actually animal lovers and they play an active role in making sure that lost dogs and cats make it home safely.
They also work hard to find new homes for dogs and cats that are unregistered or whose owners cannot be found.