With dog registrations recently issued dog owners are being reminded of the importance of registering their four-legged friends so Council can offer a full range of animal control services.
The new registration period is for the 12 months from 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022.
Last year the dog registration fee was 50% less than usual as it was for the six months from 1 March to 31 August, as the first six months was waived by Council as a COVID relief measure.
Bundaberg Regional Council Animal Control portfolio spokesperson Cr May Mitchell said some fees had increased this year but owners of desexed and microchipped dogs still enjoyed the lowest registration fees.
At $40, she said this fee promoted responsible pet ownership and recognised that these dogs were more easily returned to their owners should they become lost.
Cr Mitchell said Council had reviewed and amended its dog registration fees to make it fairer for ratepayers who were subsidising ever-increasing animal management costs and to reflect Council’s increased activity in the animal control space for dogs.
“The initial fee for a menacing or dangerous dog has increased to $400 and $600 respectively, due to the officer time involved in investigations,” Cr Mitchell said.
“But if registration and fencing is maintained this reduces by 50 per cent as an incentive for doing the right thing.
“New dog on-leash signage is soon to be trialled at Elliott Heads and two new fenced off-leash parks are being constructed this financial year and Council will be looking for ideas from the community for locations during September.
“Improvements to Council’s barking dog processes are being implemented to both assist dog owners know how to manage a problem barker and help give much needed relief to those impacted.
“This is very important work that is underway.
“High rates of impoundments for unregistered dogs and non-microchipped dogs have increased the cost of managing Council’s pound facilities and these areas of non-compliance have been targeted.
“Council has visited 22,000 properties so that the owners of non-registered dogs can register their dogs and contribute to the costs of animal management and also avoid the $275 fines that apply.”
Cr Mitchell said the highest fee increases were introduced for dogs that were not microchipped as, should they become impounded, it was likely that it would take longer for their owners to be contacted, which means the cost to Council would be higher.
“While we have increased some dog registration fees Council is also boosting the incentives for having a registered and microchipped dog.
“We want to make it as attractive as possible for the region’s dog owners to desex and microchip their pets.
“Now, in addition to having a first free pound release for microchipped dogs, Council has introduced a 50 per cent reduction in the release fee for the second occurrence within a financial year.
“Bundaberg Regional Council is also partnering with the RSPCA and local vets for additional subsidised microchipping opportunities throughout the year.”
RSPCA Bundaberg Shelter Animal Care Manager Lorin Grey said it was important for residents to microchip their pets.
“The more dogs that we can have easily identified and easily traceable back to their owners, the better outcomes we’re going to have for lost animals,” Ms Grey said.
“It’s all part of being a responsible animal owner.”
She also encouraged dog and cat owners to take advantage of discounted desexing fees through the RSPCA Operation Wanted campaign with three local vets participating.
“That runs every June until the end of August.
“There is still time for people to claim 20% off the cost of desexing.”
Why is dog registration important?
- All dog registration fees go back into Council’s animal management initiatives for dogs.
- Registered dogs and responsible pet ownership help to ensure the safety of our community.
- If your dog is registered it also means it can quickly be returned home, should it become lost.
Registration fees can be used to:
- Manage dog-related requests like barking dogs or dog attack investigations.
- Care for and rehome impounded and abandoned animals.
- Deliver dog off-leash areas and facilities.