The law

The Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Companion Animals Regulation 2018 provide for the identification and registration of cats and dogs, how they are managed and the duties and responsibilities of their owners.

Registration requirement and exemption

In NSW, all cats and dogs, except exempt cats and dogs, must be registered with the local council, in whose area they are ordinarily kept by 6 months of age.

However, under clause 17(1c) of the Companion Animals Regulation 2018, certain animals, including animals in the care of some animal rescue organisations, are exempt from the lifetime-registration fee.

Applying for approval as an organisation exempt from registering animals in its care

The Office of Local Government has issued new Guidelines for Designated Rehoming Organisations. They replace the former “Guidelines for Approval to be an Organisation Exempt from Companion Animal Registration under clause 16(d) of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008”.

The new guidelines contain revised templates for record keeping purposes and annual reports. They also refer to a revised form of application for designation which can be found below. This form must also be used by organisations that are already designated as rehoming organisations if they wish to renew their designation for a further term.

Key resources