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Registering your pet

Pets are great companions but it is essential that dog and cat owners register and microchip their pets. The Companion Animals Act 1998 was introduced in NSW on 1st July 1999 to protect pets, people and the wider community.

More than 150,000 dogs and cats are lost or stolen every year in NSW. Many are impounded when their owners cannot be contacted, some may end up rehomed or even euthanased.

Microchipping and registration is a two-step process:

Permanent identification through microchipping:

Under the Companion Animals Act, cats and dogs throughout NSW must be identified (by microchipping) by the time the animal is 12 weeks old. Once the animal is microchipped, these identification details are entered into the NSW Companion Animal Register. A certificate is then issued to the owner with the identification details.

The permanent identification (microchipping) and lifetime registration scheme greatly assists authorities in returning lost or injured animals to their owners.

Once microchipped and registered, your pet is protected for life.

To register your pet you will need:

1. The Lifetime Registration R2 form (available online here)

2. A certificate of microchipping or letter from your vet

3. Proof of de-sexing from your vet or a statutory declaration

4. Any documents which entitle you to a discount (for example pension card)

5. Payment can be made at Council either by cheque, money order, EFTPOS, VISA or cash

You must notify Council if any of the following circumstances occur:

  • Change of ownership/change of address or any other details within 14 days;
  • Death of animal within 28 days in writing;
  • Missing animal within 96 hours;
  • If a court declares/revokes a dog as being dangerous within 7 days; and
  • If you sell or give away your animal a change of owner/details form must be completed and sent to Council.

This change of owner details form (C3A) can be found on the Division of Local Government website. Do not give the certificate to the new owner, as you are responsible for the details to be changed. Penalties apply where changes to ownership are not notified.

Registration through Council – NSW Companion Animals Register

All NSW Councils are connected to the state wide register. You may register your animal by downloading and completing the prescribed form and along with supporting documentation visit and pay Council.

  • $57 for a desexed cat or dog;
  • $207 for an entire or undesexed cat or dog;
  • $57 for an entire or non-desexed cat or dog owned by registered breeder;
  • $24 for a desexed cat or dog owned by an eligible pensioner.

Please note: On 1 July 2018 cat and dog lifetime registration fees increased in line with the Consumer Price Index as required by the Companion Animals Regulation 2008.

Responsibilities of dog owners

  • If your dog is in a public place it must be under the effective control of a competent person by means of an adequate chain or leash. The exceptions to this are: dogs exhibited at a show or engaging in obedience or agility trials or a dog secured in a cage or in an approved off-leash area;
  • If your dog is being exercised in an approved off-leash area it must always be under effective control of a competent person;
  • You are not permitted to walk more than 4 dogs at any one time in an on-leash or an off-leash area;
  • Greyhounds must be muzzled at all times when in a public place, except if the greyhound has successfully completed an approved greyhound retraining program and the greyhound wears an approved collar when it is a public place;
  • If your dog defecates in a public place it is an offence not to remove the faeces; and
  • Dogs are prohibited in children's play areas, food preparation/consumption areas, recreation areas, public bathing areas, school grounds, child care centres, shopping areas and wildlife protection areas.

What is the definition of a dog attack?

Under the Companion Animals Act 1998 it is an offence for a dog to attack a person or another animal.

If a dog rushes at, attacks, bites or harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin), whether or not any injury is caused to the person or animal:

  1. The owner of the dog; or
  2. If the owner is not present at the time of the offence, and another person who is of or above the age of 16 years is in charge of the dog at that time – that other person is guilty of an offence.

Penalty notices that can be issues under the Act

  • Animal not permanently identified (microchipped) $165
  • Animal not registered $275
  • Failure to notify change of address/owner $165
  • Failure to prevent dog escaping $220
  • Dog not on lead in public place $220
  • Failure to remove dog faeces $275
  • Failure to take seized animal to pound/shelter $550
  • Dog in prohibited place $330
  • Own or in charge of attacking dog $550


Port Stephens Council’s Environmental Health and Compliance Section
Ph: (02) 4980 0255
Email: council@portstephens.nsw.gov.au