HomeCouncilInspection program targets unregistered dogs

Inspection program targets unregistered dogs

dog inspection program
Bundaberg Rgeional Council has endorsed a door-to-door inspection program to encourage more dog registrations

An increase in the number of unregistered dogs has prompted Bundaberg Regional Council to authorise a door-to-door inspection program to support its essential animal control services.

In today’s Council meeting, held March 30, Bundaberg Regional Council endorsed a systematic inspection program to identify unregistered dogs, which will be conducted between 1 May and 31 October 2021.

The focus of this program will be on previously registered dogs, dangerous dogs and dogs that have not been registered before.

Dog registration is required under State Government legislation and failure to register your dog is an offence which carries a $266 fine.

Dog owners are encouraged to register all their dogs urgently before the inspection program and before fines need to be issued.

Animal Control spokesperson Cr May Mitchell said between February 2020 and February 2021 more than half of the dogs impounded by Council were unregistered.

“Returning unregistered dogs to their owners after they are impounded is significantly more costly than finding the owners of a registered animal,” Cr Mitchell said.

“If a dog is registered and microchipped, our staff can quickly identify their home address and, in most instances, can return them directly without any need for impoundment.

“Unregistered dogs on the other hand must be impounded until the owners come forward which has a range of associated costs including transport, food, cleaning and medication when needed.

“Earlier this month a review of our data revealed that, of the 16000 dog registrations on our system, more than 4000 have not been renewed.”

Cr Mitchell said dog registration fees helped to fund the vital animal control service and create spaces for the region’s residents to enjoy with their dogs.

“We are always looking at how we can provide improved or additional services for the region’s animal lovers.

“Council recently invested in further embellishments to existing dog off leash parks including agility equipment and is looking at options to introduce new off leash areas within the region.”

Dog inspection program
Animal control portfolio spokesperson Cr May Mitchell at the East Bundaberg dog off leash park

However, she said increasing costs and decreasing registration numbers meant less money was available for Council to proactively fund new facilities.

“The community is currently bearing the costs of Council dealing with such a high number of unregistered dogs through the pound.”

Cr Mitchell said it was common for Councils to conduct an animal registration inspection program.

“Bundaberg Regional Council conducted a similar inspection program in 2014 which identified about 6000 unregistered dogs.

“Since then the number of registered dogs has declined but at the same time we believe it is possible the total number of dogs in the region has increased.

“Council officers are certainly receiving a higher number of dog related requests with barking dog complaints in particular steadily increasing.

“Following investigation officers have found that over 60 per cent of those complaints related to unregistered dogs.

“We hope that this inspection program will help us to increase dog registrations which promotes responsible pet ownership, helps return dogs home sooner and reduces the financial burden on ratepayers for the provision of this essential service.

“The additional registration fees received by Council will be used to improve animal management services for the benefit of all residents.”

Council introduced a 50 per cent discount for all dog registration fees for 2020/21 to assist the community through COVID.



  1. Its amazing how the council is quick to carry out inspections and issue fines but don’t act when dogs are dangerous and a barking issue.

  2. The amount of wild life , birds taken from nest of a night from the trees on my property by cats in the past is outrageous and who has to clean up the feathers. About time cats were included . the birds don’t nest here any more i wounder why. The dogs in my area are not a problem and help keep thieves away which is a good thing.

  3. I applaud Council for this move to promote responsible pet ownership. However, it has always annoyed me that dog owners pay and cat owners don’t – WHY?.. In our neighbourhood we have several very well managed dogs but they all do their job of protecting their property and warning their owners with barks when intruders appear. Those intruders are invariably cats. The process seems to be: Dogs are registered and confined; cats are not registered and are not confined; cats intrude and cause dogs to bark; cat owners complain about the noise; non-pet owners love their native birds and skinks; cats intrude and kill off this wild life; non-pet owners enjoy their gardens; cats intrude and leave their unpleasant mess behind. Who do we call when our property is invaded by cats? There is not much point in calling animal control because cats just leap fences and escape.
    There is a cost to registration and restraint. Why should dog owners be the only pet owners to bear this cost. VERY UNFAIR.

  4. Agree with guppy about registration for cats. Cats kill thousands of native birds every day. We had many nesting birds in our yard until a new neighbours cat cleaned the lot up including chick’s.
    Pitty council didn’t take a bit of interest in enforcement of other ownership rules, like dogs under control and on short leads around others. Currently its a free for all. Especially in parks and beach areas.
    Perhaps using animal control cash to buy electric cars?

  5. Given that ratepayers got slugged an extra 10% when council stopped the early payment discount, they should have plenty of money.
    Seem to have plenty for electric cars and 1 million trees, but none to enforce basic dog and cat control rules. Especially dogs not under direct control and on short leads where other people are close by. Or noxious plants in public spaces.
    Many councils seem to be competing for women’s these days and forgetting what they are actually there for.

  6. Cats should also have to be registered & confined. They may not use off-leash parks but they kill a lot of wildlife, not to mention digging up gardens & pooing everywhere

  7. How about targeting cat registration and desexing, plus the stray and night wandering cats that are killing many birds and lizards?

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