All dog and cat owners are required to register their animals with Council (if the animals are over 3 months of age). It is for lifetime registration in NSW, and does not need to be renewed at all. Pets that have been registered in another state will have to be registered again if they have moved to NSW as registration does not transfer interstate.
Note: Where the owner of a dog/cat is under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of that owner will be deemed the legal owner of the dog/cat.
Registration can be done online at NSW Pet Registry or a form can be filled out at Council. Pet owners are also able to change or update their pets details via the website or at council.
Benefits of Registration
Registering your dog or cat greatly improves their chances of being returned to you if they become lost, and assists Council and the State Government to provide a wide range of animal management services to the community. Registration fees provide a whole range of other important services too - as a minimum you will get:
- An individual Council identification marker for your pet to wear.
- Lost and found service - a guarantee that if your pet is found wearing the registration tag you will be notified.
- Council services to respond to calls about wandering dogs or dog attacks. This includes the removal of aggressive dogs from the streets.
- Council services to assist in dealing with nuisance problems such as wandering animals and barking dogs.
- Council control of "dangerous", "menacing" and "restricted breed" dogs in your area.
- Council monitoring of pet shops, boarding kennels, catteries, pounds, shelters and breeding and training businesses.
- State Government research into dog and cat welfare and control issues.
Who can register a dog or cat ?
Only the owner of the animal or an ‘agent of the owner’ can register an animal with Council. An owner is a person or an organisation that has the animal in his or her care. Where the owner of a dog/cat is under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of that owner will be deemed the legal owner of the dog/cat. If an ‘agent of the owner’ is to register an animal on behalf of the owner, the following documentation is required:
- Letter or statutory declaration signed by the owner advising that the agent is able to register the animal on the owners behalf; or
- Power of attorney documentation stating that the person has the power to make legal decisions (not medical power of attorney).
Registration can be done online at NSW Pet Registry or a form can be filled out at council. Pet owners are also able to change or update their pets details via the website or at council.
From 1 July 2020 owners of dogs of a restricted breed or formally declared to be dangerous will be required to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. This will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs and encourage owners to better manage the behaviour of their animal. Owners of cats not desexed by four months of age will be required to pay an $80 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
You may need to attach evidence as required of the following:
- Microchipping certificate (compulsory for all animals)
- Desexing certificate (compulsory for all cats and some declared dogs)
- Pension or concession card (required to apply for pensioner discount)
- Evidence of animal's age (required if applying for reduced registration fee if your animal is under 6 months old or over 10 years old)
- Applicable training organisation certificate
- Applicable organisation membership
- Applicable pedigree certificate (in the name of the owner)
- Domestic animal business registration
- Evidence of working dog status
- Foster Carer Certificate
Once the paperwork has been completed, submit your application, relevant attachments and pay your animal registration fee at Council offices, 2 Court Street Forbes, 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday. If the application is approved and payment completed, a Council Registration tag will be issued. It is a requirement by law that your dog or cat wears its Council registration tag on its collar. If you have difficulty attaching your animal's tag to its collar, please contact Council.
Register online at NSW Pet Registry or pdf here and submit to Council offices.
Current lifetime registration fees (valid for the cat or dogs lifetime) from 1 July 2023 are;
| Registration Type
|Dog - Desexed (by relevant age)
|Dog - Desexed (by relevant age - eligible pensioner)
|Dog - Desexed (sold by pound/shelter)
|Dog - Not Desexed (or desexed after relevant age)
|Dog - Not Desexed (not recommended)
|Dog - Not Desexed (not recommended - eligible pensioner)
|Dog - Not Desexed (recognised breeder)
|Dog - Working
|Dog - Service of the State
|Cat - Desexed or Not Desexed
|Cat - Desexed (eligible pensioner)
|Cat - Desexed (sold by pound/shelter)
|Cat - Not Desexed (not recommended)
|Cat - Not Desexed (not recommended - eligible pensioner)
|Cat - Not Desexed (recognised breeder)
|Registration late fee
|Annual permit category
|Cat not desexed by four months of age
|Permit late fee
* An eligible pensioner includes a person in receipt of the aged pension, war widow pension or disability pension. If you are unsure whether you are an eligible pensioner, please contact Council.
** Any assistance dogs that are being registered require: proof of disability, proof that the animal has been trained to alleviate the effect of the disability, and proof that the animal has been trained to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, Council is required to pay the State Government $2 for every cat registration fee, $3.50 for every dog registration fee and $20 for every domestic animal business registration. This levy is currently included in your animal registration fee and the domestic animal business registration fee.
A reduced registration fee may apply if you are a pensioner, or a voluntary foster animal carer or your animal meets one of the below criteria:
- desexed dogs
- dogs under 6 months old or over 10 years old
- dogs kept for working stock
- dogs kept for breeding by the proprietor of a domestic animal business conducted on registered premises
- dogs that have undergone obedience training which complies with the regulations
- dogs registered with an applicable organisation, if their owners are members of the applicable organisation with which the dogs are registered
- dogs that are permanently identified in the prescribed manner and registered with the Game Management Authority.
The full registration fee applies to any dogs that do not match one of the above criteria, and also applies to dangerous dogs, menacing dogs, and restricted breed dogs.
2. Working Dogs
The Domestic Animals Act 1994 defines a working dog as a dog that herds, droves, protects, tends or works stock on land used solely or primarily for primary production. The dog owner’s income must be primarily generated from primary production. Primary production is defined as the maintenance of animals or poultry for the purposes of selling them or their natural increase of bodily produce.
A primary producer is defined as someone whose primary source of income is generated from primary production as per the land tax definition, specifically in relation to animal production.
To determine if your dog is a farm working dog, please answer the following questions:
- Are you, or are you contracted by, a primary producer?
- Is your main source of income generated from primary production?
- Does your dog herd, drove, protect, tend or work stock?
- Does your dog work (as per the definition above) on land used mainly for primary production?
If you answered NO to either of these questions, your dog does not qualify as a working dog.
Owners of working dog breeds that do not meet the primary producer and farm working dog definitions are not eligible for legislative exemptions.
Council is responsible for determining if a dog is a farm working dog, as per the definition.
Please complete and submit an Animal Registration form along with proof of microchipping and a completed Application for Working Dog Status statutory declaration.
Please note: By signing a statutory declaration, you agree that the information you have provided is true and correct. You can be liable to the penalties of perjury if the statutory declaration is false.
Your application will then be assessed to determine if your dog meets the Working dog criteria. If approved by Council, farm working dogs:
- receive a reduced registration rate with council
- do not count towards a property's fertile female dog breeding limit, and
- are not required to wear an identification marker outside of the premises if being kept or used or trained as a farm working dog, including when it is going from place to place for that purpose.
- desexed cats
- cats under 6 months old or over 10 years old
- cats kept for breeding by the proprietor of a domestic animal business conducted on registered premises
- cats registered with an applicable organisation, if their owners are members of the applicable organisation with which the cats are registered.
4. Applicable Organisations
Owners of dogs and cats are entitled to a reduced animal registration rate if:
- the owner is a member of an applicable organisation; and
- the animal is registered with an applicable organisation under the owners name.
Evidence of membership and the animal's pedigree certificate with the owner's name is required to be supplied each year to receive the reduced rate.
5. Domestic Animal Businesses
The owner of a domestic animal business that is registered with Council can apply for a reduced registration rate for the animals kept as part of the business. For more information, please contact Council.
6. Pensioner Discount
Council will waive 50% of a registration fee, if the person:
- is an eligible recipient within the meaning of the State Concessions Act 2004; and
- has completed and given to the Council an application for such a waiver in the form approved by the Council.
Concessions do not apply to declared dangerous, menacing or restricted breed dogs or if the animals are not desexed.
The following cardholders are eligible for pensioner rate concession for Animal Registrations:
- Department of Human Services (Centrelink) - Pensioner Concession Card
- Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) - Pensioner Concession Card, DVA Gold Repatriation Health Card - TPI and DVA Gold Repatriation Health Card - War Widow.
What happens if I don't register my animal ?
If you own a dog or cat that is over 3 months of age and do not register your animal with the local council where it is kept, you are committing an offence under state law and infringements and/or court action may be taken against you.
LEGISLATION & PENALTIES
The Domestic Animals Act 1994, requires that owners of a dog and cat over the age of three months register the animal with the municipal district in which the dog or cat is kept. Penalties apply for failing to register the registration of a dog or cat. On-the-spot infringements may be issued or legal action commenced if an animal is found to be unregistered.
NOTICE TO COMPLY
If a Council Officer has contacted you regarding an unregistered animal, or if you have received a Notice to Comply, please ensure that you follow the compliance details by the specified date. If you are unable to complete the request within the time specified please call the Council Officer as soon as possible before the due date. Failure to comply may result in infringements and/or legal action.
Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, it is compulsory that all new applications to register a dog or cat include evidence that the animal has been implanted with a microchip. Microchips can be implanted by your local vet.
A microchip is not required to be supplied if the animal has been registered with Forbes Shire Council prior to 11 April 2013 and continues to remain registered. However it is recommended to have your animal microchipped and supply the details to Council to ensure we are able to contact you if your pet becomes lost.
If you aren't going to breed from your cat or dog, please have him/her desexed as soon as possible, as cats and dogs can begin to breed from an early age. You are less likely to forget to desex your cat if you have it done as soon as the cat or dog is purchased or obtained.
As of April 2008, requires ALL cats within the Municipal District to be desexed prior to registration unless exempt under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 Part 2 10B.
To be eligible for a reduced registration fee for dog registration, your dog must be desexed and microchipped. Forbes Shire Council will register an undesexed dog that is microchipped, however the full registration fee will apply. Proof of desexing and microchipping is required at time of registering dog to receive the reduced fee.
Multiple Dogs and Cats
Under the Council’s Community Living Local Law No 1, it is an offence to keep more than 2 dogs or 2 cats on any one property in a residential or commercial area, or more than 4 dogs or 4 cats on land of less than 2 hectares (4.94 acres) in a farming zone, without a permit.
Looking after Pets in Public
In an effort to keep our community, parks and lake foreshore clean and tidy Forbes Shire Council encourages residents and visitors to pick up after their dog. We all know picking up dog poo isn’t the most glamorous job but picking up after your dog is the responsible thing to do and it is also a requirement under the Companion Animals Act 1998.
If you leave the dog poo on the ground, you can actually be fined. We ask you to Scoop the Poop! Seeing (and smelling) dog poo on the street, foot paths, in the parks is not pleasant. During rain dog poo may be washed into the stormwater system or directly into the Lake and river system polluting our favourite swimming spots, and potentially becoming a health risk for those that may be more susceptible. Think about your actions, think about your community and do the right thing. Picking up after your dog will help to keep our streets, parks and our Lake clean as well as keep our town amazing.
Barking dogs can become a nuisance and create conflict between neighbours and if dog barks excessively and unreasonably your neighbour can make a complaint to Council. It is recommended you consider obedience and socialisation training for your dog, so you can better understand their needs. We also recommend you consult your veterinarian to establish if the barking may be caused by a medical condition.
The following tips may also assist in reducing your dogs barking:
- Walk your dog daily
- Make sure that your dog has food, water and shelter from the weather.
- Provide toys at different intervals in an attempt to alleviate any boredom
- Do not let the dog inside or give it attention when it barks.
- If your dog is barking at people or noises on the other side of a fence, move the dog to another part of the yard, or put up a barrier to keep the dog away from that area.
- If your dog barks at regular disturbances such as children walking to school or rubbish trucks, keep the dog inside or in an enclosed area at these times.
- If your dog is barking at gaps and cracks in the fence, fill them in.
- Teach your dog to stop barking on command. When the dog is barking give a firm command such as 'cease' and call the dog to you. Praise the dog when it stops barking.
Feral or nuisance cats
Council has cat traps available for hire to assist in the capture of feral cats.
Cat Trap Fees and Charges
A bond of $60 is paid at Forbes Shire Council Administration Office, 2 Court Street, Forbes.
A weekly hire rate of $15.40 is subtracted from the bond and should the hire period be less than four weeks, any remaining bond money will be returned to the hirer. Should the hirer wish to keep the trap for longer than four weeks, a new bond of $60 will need to be paid. Council will deliver the trap to the hirer at the commencement of the hire. At the conclusion of the hire, the hirer is to return to trap to Council's Administration Offices.