Looking for a new dog or cat? RSPCA Victoria says “no source number, no sale”

One year on since the introduction of the Pet Exchange Register, RSPCA Victoria is reminding those who are looking to purchase a cat, dog, kitten or puppy to ensure the breeder or seller publishes their source number in any advertisements to sell or give away an animal.

A dog or cat advertised for sale with an attached source number and microchip details allows consumers to confirm the breeder or seller is registered on the Pet Exchange Register. It provides a level of transparency and traceability that did not exist in Victoria prior to its launch in 2019.

New changes as of July 1, 2020 now stipulate the source number of the breeder, council pound, animal shelter, pet shop or foster carer that owns the animal will also be required when implanting a microchip into a dog or cat. The source number will be linked to the animal’s microchip details, to ensure the dog or cat’s origin can always be traced throughout its lifespan.

While fees to obtain a source number were initially set to come into effect from 1 July this year, the Victorian Government has announced they will waive these fees due to the impacts of coronavirus.

RSPCA Victoria recommends adopting a pet from a reputable animal welfare organisation where possible. However, the Pet Exchange Register provides a level of transparency for people looking to purchase a new cat or dog, whether from an animal shelter, breeder or rescue group.

If visiting a breeding facility, RSPCA Victoria encourages consumers to consider the following:

• Is the area where the animals are kept clean and free from waste?

• Ask to meet the parents of the animal you’re considering and make sure they are the same breed.

• Do the animals have adequate shelter with a comfortable place to rest?

• Do they have good skin condition, a healthy coat and clean eyes?

• Do they look to be a healthy weight – not too lean but not overweight?

• Do they have enough space to move around freely, stretch their legs and express natural behaviour?

• Do they have opportunity to socialise with other animals or their litter mates?

• How do they react to and behave with people?

The RSPCA Smart Puppy and Dog Buyer’s Guide is a good source of information for those looking to adopt and can be found here www.rspcavic.org.

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