Companion Animals


The Companion Animals Act 1998 requires that ALL dogs and cats MUST be identified (microchipped) and registered once they are a certain age. There is an exemption from this for working dogs normally kept on land rated as farmland. 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 guard dog or hunting dog is not a working dog.

All cats and dogs must be identified from the time the animal is 12 weeks old and before sale if it is less than 12 weeks old. Sale includes any form of transfer including a gift. All cats and dogs must be registered from the time the animal is six (6) months old. The owner of the animal is guilty of an offence if it is not registered.

Anyone who has an identified or registered cat or dog who changes their address MUST inform Council of the change of address within 14 days of the change.

If a dog is found wandering and not registered, the animal will be impounded and will not be released unless it has been registered and the impounding fees paid. Unregistered dogs will be kept for up to 14 days if identified and 7 days if not, before being rehomed or euthanized.

How do I register my dog/cat under the NSW Companion Animals Act?

First your animal must be microchipped. This can be done at your local vet. You are then required to register your animals at either Councils Office (29 Mitchell Street, Bourke) or online at

If your animal is desexed you will need to bring in a copy of the papers stating so.

Lifetime registration is compulsory for all cats and dogs, that are bought, sold, given/received as gifts or that have transferred ownership on or after 1st July 1999.

Fees and Charges

The following are the fees and charges for registration of pets from 1st July 2024.

Lifetime Registration

  • Non-desexed dog – $262.00
  • Desexed dog (proof required) – $78.00
  • Pensioner (desexed only) (proof required) – $34.00
  • Registered breeder (proof required) – $78.00
  • Cats – $68.00
  • Trained assistance animal/Working Dog (proof provided) – $0.00, must still be microchipped and registered for life.
Notification to Council

You must notify Council in the following instances relating to your pets:

  • You change your address or contact details
  • Change of owner
  • Dog is declared dangerous by a Court
  • The animal dies
  • The animal has been missing for more than 72 hours
Working Dogs

Working dogs do not have to be microchipped or registered for life however it is encouraged.

A working dog is defined in Section 3 of the Act as a dog used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and this also includes a dog being trained as a working dog.

Farm working dogs are exempt from microchipping and registration requirements, however these dogs are valuable animals and owners are encouraged to have their dogs microchipped and registered for the dogs’ own protection.

Impounded working dogs lose their exemptions and must be microchipped and registered for life prior to release from the pound.

Introduction of annual permits for non-desexed cats and dangerous/restricted dogs

The NSW Government is committed to promoting responsible pet ownership and improving animal welfare standards.

From 1 July 2020 the Government will introduce annual permits for owners of non-desexed cats, restricted dog breeds, and dogs declared to be dangerous.

This means that owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $96 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.

Owners of dogs of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $230 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. This applies to dogs that are already registered.

Pet owners will be able to pay for annual permits using the online NSW Pet Registry, or through their local council. Annual permits are not available from Service NSW.

Anyone registering a cat on the NSW Pet Registry will be informed that they must pay for an $96 annual permit if their animal is not desexed by four months of age.

Exemptions will be in place for cats that are registered before 1 July 2020, cats kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies, and cats which cannot be desexed for medical reasons.

Why are annual permits being introduced?

Annual permits will create a stronger incentive to desex cats, which in turn will improve their health and wellbeing, and reduce behaviours such as roaming and aggression.

Improving desexing rates and preventing unwanted litters will also ease the burden on pounds and shelters, reduce euthanasia rates, and help to address concerns about feral and stray cats and their effect on wildlife.

Placing further control measures on dangerous and restricted dogs will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal.

Annual permit fees will go directly to the Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local councils including pounds/shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.

Animals available for adoption

Please contact Council on 6830 8000 to enquire about adopting available companion animals.

Kelpie XF5mPOAAvailable for adoption on 10/07/24
Mastiff XM3yrsPOAAvailable for adoption on 10/07/24
Mastiff XF8mPOAAvailable for adoption on 10/07/24