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Thread: Registering a dog in Sydney - anyone know what the compliance rates are?

  1. #1

    Default Registering a dog in Sydney - anyone know what the compliance rates are?

    I have recently returned to Sydney and so I was looking to trying and register my dog with the council. My position has always been that I don't really understand why I should have register my pet in the first place, he's microchipped and wears a collar for the purposes of helping us to be reunited should anything happen so essentially it appears to be another tax, this time for owning a pet. Nothing we can do about taxes I guess.

    My point today though is that I went to the Council website with the intention of starting the process of registering my dog, but I've left the website now, my dog no closer to being registered because the whole process seemed so counter intuitive. My dog is not desexed and so the fee to register him is $182 as compared to $49 if he were. Seems a bit steep really and unlike other states, there are no discounts if the dog is trained and/or microchipped. It's worded differently too, in other states there was a standard registration fee and then discounts offered for conditions met that they had identified as increasing the chances your dog will be a happy member of society (one of which was desexing) but in Sydney it comes across as a punishment.
    Then, if I did register him should my circumstances change (say I move house, the dog dies etc) and I don't notify them within the specified time periods, I face a fine of up to $8800. That's incredibly steep.

    But let's say I just ignore the whole thing and opt not to register him at all, the fine is $165. Now if I was someone who made my decisions based purely on the figures...

    Talking in my office today, half the pet owners didn't even know you had to register your pet (certainly none of the cats) and almost all the rest have it in their 'to do' pile. No-one has been caught. Obviously I'm not asking anyone to admit to breaking the law, but does anyone have any idea around registration compliance in Sydney?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    No idea about the registration in Sydney.

    I did think in NSW that you could get life time registration.

    Across NSW they are having major problems with abandoned and stray dogs. So the compulsory microchipping and giant fees for undesexed dogs are related to that. It does cost money for councils to administer the registration details and they pay the pounds too for dealing with the stray dogs. Most people who reclaim their dogs cover that cost when they pick the dog up including a fine for letting their dog stray - but there are also many dogs that are unclaimed and the cost of caring for them during the waiting period (which is really short for an unregistered dog) has to be covered by the council. And there is no cost recovery for them if the dog is never claimed.

    So think of the registration fee as a sort of life insurance for your dog. It's not perfect but nothing could be a death sentence if some nut job lets him out of your house. Microchipped or not.

    This is from the wyong council rego site.
    All dogs over the age of six months are required by law to be registered. It’s a one off fee and is for the life of the animal, so even if you move interstate and then return, the pet is still registered in NSW.
    The fine for not updating your details is not mandatory - it may be charged - so if you get caught out you could apply for it to be waived if you're doing the right thing by your dog and not abandoning it (I can't imagine you'd do that), or hiding a dangerous dog (again - can't imagine him being dangerous to anyone except as protection of you and yours which exempts him from being "dangerous").

    I guess you could apply to be a registered breeder and then it's cheaper but the conditions of that are pretty onerous for one male dog with no intention of breeding.

    I think there may also be some sort of exception for farm dogs - but I think that requires them to stay on farm.

    Having a bit of a browse through the NSW companion animal act - they only have to notify the owner using the council register - not the microchip register - so the life of your dog - depending which pound he ends up in (some are better than others), can be very very short if they decide not to use the microchip info to contact you.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 02-10-2014 at 06:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    I am not in Sydney, mine are farm dogs and I am not required to register them...but I have, (lifetime) as I view it as a tool in their recovery should they be stolen or stray if they get out of their compound.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  4. #4

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    '99bottles' - Some of your cost benefit analysis above is a tad flawed.

    Release fees from a pound for an unregistered dog would need to also be taken into account – in a worst case scenario.

    So, if you can afford to pay a fine, register your dog before it can legally be released from a pound and then pay release fees - all on the same day – go for it !

    As a responsible dog owner – I really do not understand why anyone would not register their dog with their local council !

    I wish lifetime registration was available up here.

    Registration - City of Sydney

    That fee that is quoted - is for a lifetime - $182 - would only be about 3 years for me in my local council area. BTW – the lifetime registration came in – I believe - 1/1/2014 - so really - your gain !

    Have you looked at just registering your dog for 12 months ? Is it possible ?

    Have you looked to see if there is a reciprocal dog registration arrangement from where you came from – to where you are now ? Sometimes there is a ‘grace period’ – of course a fee is involved – it is about $6 for me in my situation - but maybe something for you to investigate.

  5. #5

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    Hi Riley, thanks for your post. I decided to register my dog, but honestly, not because I believe it offers any benefits. I registered him to be compliant and because I'm not in the habit (just yet anyway) of breaking the law. As a said before his registration number is a tag on his collar and if he still has his collar, he'd also have the tag I've put on with all my details. If he's lost his collar or tags (I've had to use metal twisty ties to keep his tag on his collar because the keychain ones always break), I'd be relying on the microchip anyway. There's never a time when the council registration would be the reason I got my dog back, or even be the fastest way to get him back to me and so accordingly, that did not play a role in my decision to register.

    There is a grace period of 3 months so no issues there. I only became curious because when I was asking around in my office and at the nearby dog parks, a lot of people didn't seem to know anything about registration. I was also surprised at the fine for not registering my dog was less than the cost of registering him, and I just thought the penalties for not updating your information almost offered an incentive not to register the animals at all because they were so expensive. I believe if he were to escape and end up in the pound I would have to pay regardless to reclaim him wouldn't I? But yeah, I guess like all taxes, I agree to pay the govt a reduced amount of money so they don't take more if they catch me.

    I also thought that it could be a good idea for them to use their power to offer incentives for people to train their dogs, rather than just desex. I mean, as I see it, you can have a desexed dog that can still cause a multitude of problems in the community but I've never heard of any dog with a CD, CDX or IPO title getting into trouble regardless of whether it still has its bits or not. I mean, just last night a cat ran through the dog park and up across the road. I think I was pretty much the only person who had an entire dog there at the park (harder to tell with the females though), but my dog was the only dog who came back when called. The rest just had to run after their dogs and hope they didn't get hit by cars or injure the cat (which would have then no doubt seen them declared dangerous).
    Last edited by 99bottles; 02-12-2014 at 03:51 PM.

  6. #6

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    Wow just realised I came across as really angry in that last post. This is what happens when I write posts at work :s

  7. #7
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    99Bottles

    I think the main point of registering - given how insane the NSW rules currently are - is that your dog doesn't get PTS the second he arrives at the pound for whatever reason. I don't think you get three months grace there and not all the pounds are reliable about retrieving the microchip details. You might want to check which Microchip register they'd look at and whether they'd check all of them.

    Example - AWL - where I got my dog from uses one registry and all the Adelaide vets use a different one. And it happened that the link to the other registry was broken and the registry itself was down... Not fun. My dog's microchip number is listed with the council so they could search on that.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    99Bottles

    I think the main point of registering - given how insane the NSW rules currently are - is that your dog doesn't get PTS the second he arrives at the pound for whatever reason. I don't think you get three months grace there and not all the pounds are reliable about retrieving the microchip details. You might want to check which Microchip register they'd look at and whether they'd check all of them.

    Example - AWL - where I got my dog from uses one registry and all the Adelaide vets use a different one. And it happened that the link to the other registry was broken and the registry itself was down... Not fun. My dog's microchip number is listed with the council so they could search on that.
    Well he was microchipped in NSW so hopefully they can retrieve those details... Gosh I guess I thought that if they found any microchip, they'd go to some effort to try and reunite the dog with the owner. I believe you though, I just read another interesting article The earth is flat, pet overpopulation exists and other myths we've been told - Houston animal shelters | Examiner.com and there's heaps of others like it, and a book by the former director of the SPCA in the US all claiming that pet over population is a myth and that shelters don't really make it a priority to return lost pets to their owners.

  9. #9
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    Fortunately our pound checks the microchip. The rangers have a mobile scanner that they take with when they pick up strays (which they actually rarely do - they expect people to drop them off at the pound or the local vet or try find the owner through the pound database/call centre).

    I think since they brought in lifetime registration, the incentives like discounts for trained dogs aren't very effective anymore. But I do agree with the difference in fees for undesexed and desexed to try and persuade owners to desex. I'm not saying you should, but of course there are lots and lots of irresponsible owners who only don't desex their dogs because they cannot be bothered. Unfortunately, they are also the kind of owners who don't register their dogs of course! I wish they would make more effort to enforce these laws in a bid to reduce the number of accidental litters. I wonder if they could include that info in the microchip somehow? So instead of looking for the tattoo, you could see if an animal is desexed by scanning it. Then it would become more feasible for rangers to do random checks. I know, I live in lala land!

    The fine being less than registration does sound odd, but wouldn't they force you to register your dog at the same time?

  10. #10

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    I imagine they would, perhaps as a condition of releasing my dog back to me? Alternatively I guess they could threaten me with the issue of another fine?

    I guess my point is that in 4 years, my dog's rego status has only been asked about once and I feel that for many of the owners that are already struggling with the fees associated with owning a dog (meaning they probably shouldn't own one in the first place), they'll see the fee for registering their entire dog, see the fine and make a call then and there. I don't even know how they would check for it, I remember in South Australia a ranger did once ask me about Sammy. In SA they need to wear their tag all the time as well, but I had Sammy in his fur saver for training and so there were no tags. I told this to the ranger and he left, so he never even verified that my dog was registered. I've never been asked in Sydney, and before I left for Adelaide, Sammy had never been registered because I didn't even know about it.

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