Microchipping your dog
Under the Dog Control Act 1996, the following dogs must be microchipped:
- dogs registered for the first time after 1 July 2006
- dogs classified as 'menacing' or 'dangerous' after 1 December 2003
- unregistered dogs impounded after 1 July 2006
- registered dogs impounded twice after 1 July 2006
The microchip must be inserted within two months of the registration date. The microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice and is injected into the scruff of a dog's neck. It has a unique number that can be listed on both council records and the National Dog Database. Once microchipped, your dog can be "scanned" for his or her microchip number and easily identified through either database.
There are two major reasons for microchipping a dog:
- to identify a lost or stolen dog and return him or her to the owner
- to identify a dog which has been aggressive and classified as dangerous or menacing. This is especially important if a dog owner attempts to disguise the dog's identity.
Getting your dog microchipped
The Council holds Microchipping Clinics at the Council Pound each Saturday. Microchipping can be conducted on your behalf by trained Animal Control Officers for a reduced fee of $25 and is a simple, straightforward procedure with minimal risks. Please phone the Council for further details about the microchipping service and timings.
Your vet can also microchip your dog. If your vet carries out the microchipping, it is your responsibility to advise Council of the chip number by giving the Council a copy of the microchipping certificate given to you by your vet.
Chip numbers are loaded onto the national dog database. If your dog is stolen or lost, then ownership can be tracked back to you in a timely manner if it is found.
All dogs registered for the first time after 1 July 2006 must be microchipped unless they are:
- Working dogs used solely, or principally for the purposes of driving stock,
- Existing dogs, other than those listed above.
Please note that unregistered "microchip exempted" working dogs that are impounded for whatever reason will lose their exempt status and will be required to be microchipped. The same applies for registered "exempt" dogs impounded for a second time. This can result in increased fees for micro-chipping.
If you believe your dog should not be microchipped for any reason, you must write to the Council explaining why not. Include all relevant documentation (e.g. a certificate from a registered vet about your dog's health condition).
If your dog is not microchipped and should be, you will have committed an offence under the Dog Control Act 1996 and:
- may be issued with an infringement notice with a fee of $300
- if the Court considers the matter, (e.g. through a defended hearing of the infringement notice), the Court may impose a fine up to $3,000
- an animal control officer may seize and impound your dog until you agree to microchip him/her. If your dog is impounded and you do not agree to pay for its microchipping, your dog may be adopted or euthanised seven days after impoundment.