Dog owners in the ACT could face a fine of $150 if they fail to update their registration details every year.
According to the ACT Government, more than 95 per cent of dogs roaming the territory currently have out of date details which makes it difficult to reunite lost dogs with their owners.
CEO of RSPCA ACT, Michelle Robertson welcomed the new laws saying it would help the organisation match the 300 lost dogs they receive every year with their owners.
The new regulation, which comes into effect from 1 July, will require owners to update their details every year and aims to streamline changes in registration details with the onus currently being on the dog’s original owner to update the details when a new owner takes the dog.
The database will come into effect on 1 July and the dog’s registration date will be the date they are first registered. Owners will have 14 days to update their details after receiving a reminder notice from Domestic Animal Services before facing a $150 fine.
Those who had their dogs registered in July will have until August to update their details.
According to City Services Minister Chris Steel, there will be no additional costs for Canberrans who register their pets on time.
“Annual registration will ensure that we have up-to-date information on dogs so we can better understand how many are living here in the ACT and pinpoint where and who owns them,” he said.
“The new system will address the challenges we currently face with lifetime registration as owners rarely tell the government when they change address or phone number, transfer their dog’s ownership to someone else or their pet passes away.
“This can be a particular problem when dog attacks unfortunately happen or there is concern about dangerous dogs.”
Around a third of Canberra residents own a dog and this number is as high as 48 per cent in Tuggeranong.