Dog owners need to update details every year or face a fine

Dominic Giannini 12 April 2021 72
Doggy database

A new doggy database will make it easier for lost dogs to be reunited with their owners. Photo: File.

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According to the ACT Government, more than 95 per cent of dogs roaming the territory currently have out of date details which makes it difficult to reunite lost dogs with their owners.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.


READ ALSO: Take 3: Furry friends are welcome at Canberra’s dog-friendly lakeside cafes


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.

City Services Minister Chris Steel

City Services Minister Chris Steel said the database will not put additional costs on Canberrans. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

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.


READ ALSO: RSPCA’s Pets of the Week – Jerry & Joey


“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.


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72 Responses to Dog owners need to update details every year or face a fine
Frank Castle Frank Castle 12:41 am 09 Apr 21

The latest announcement from the Department of think up new ways we can tax or fine these peons to pay for our welfare state.

Mark Prevost Mark Prevost 9:54 pm 08 Apr 21

Do you think Chris Steel got bit by a dog as a kid, because he sure doen’t seem to like them much…..
So, now go to Access Canberra and try to update those details, Argh !!!

Mark Prevost Mark Prevost 9:46 pm 08 Apr 21

Yep, good idea, now go to Access Canberra and try to do so, what a farce this monolith has become. Failed to notify me that my car/bike licence was due for renewel, drove for a month unlicenced, Argh!!!

Paul Mathews Paul Mathews 12:13 pm 08 Apr 21

bout time, but doesnt stop em barking, eh Chris, and still no foto database

Adam Wright Adam Wright 11:52 pm 07 Apr 21

What wait you ment to register them oops 4 years and no rego oh well

Michael Woodhead Michael Woodhead 12:30 pm 07 Apr 21

Let register cats, as well.

Jaffa Groube Jaffa Groube 9:33 am 07 Apr 21

Didn't they abolish dog registration about 2004/5 because it was too costly and because micro chipped dogs were already traceable. Sounds like a sop to the dog haters that all tax payers will wear.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:12 pm 06 Apr 21

“My dog identifies as a cat, no need to register”

Is it male, female or neutered?

    Acton Acton 6:42 am 09 Apr 21

    It is gender fluid non-binary and identifies as a cat depending on phases of the moon.

junkett junkett 7:40 pm 06 Apr 21

Happy to suck up another layer of ACT Greelabor bureaucratic stupidity as soon as they stop cats killing the beautiful native birds which inhabit our yard.
(I must mention, I have the audacity to live in Tuggeranong where cats aren’t recognised as the pests they are, and can live and roam as long as they want)

KL Graywood KL Graywood 6:48 pm 06 Apr 21

Well do people want to be notified when their dog is picked up by the pound or not? Not sure why its so hard?

    Clive John Trenton Clive John Trenton 10:19 pm 06 Apr 21

    KL Graywood you just described a service offered by the microchips.... I am disappointed that the ACT has renewed such a stupid scheme.

    KL Graywood KL Graywood 7:51 am 07 Apr 21

    Clive John Trenton only if people microchip AND keep their details up to date on their microchip. There are so many people that don't update details on microchips which makes them pretty useless. When you read the article people are not being asked to pay any extra, just to go in and update details once a year when they get a notification. Its forcing people to be responsible pet owners which unfortunately is necessary so that lost dogs can be reunited or irresponsible owners held responsible.

Jimmy David Jimmy David 3:26 pm 06 Apr 21

My dog identifies as a cat, no need to register 👌

Rowan Hurrell Rowan Hurrell 12:34 pm 06 Apr 21

While cats roam neighbourhoods completely free and unregistered? 😡

    Steve Greene Steve Greene 9:15 pm 06 Apr 21

    Rowan Hurrell cats are next, then rabbits, guinea pigs and mice.

Acton Acton 10:48 am 06 Apr 21

If you voted Greens/Labor you get exactly what you deserve – an intrusive, regulating, inefficient, wasteful, arrogant, dog hating, family loathing bunch of nincompoops. Time for passive resistance. Ignore them.

Cchitra Ghosh Cchitra Ghosh 8:27 am 06 Apr 21

I don't understand why we have to give details of everything at least ten times. When we people need help from the government that time we get nil, just too much.

Matthew Rivers Matthew Rivers 4:46 am 06 Apr 21

Revenue Raising, Robbing All Australia As Per Usual.!!!

Milica Traykoska Milica Traykoska 4:38 am 06 Apr 21

Crooks ! Every year?

Mike Burgess Mike Burgess 4:17 am 06 Apr 21

Sold the dog got a cat now ,

Terry O'Callaghan Terry O'Callaghan 10:29 pm 05 Apr 21

I hope all dog owners jack up and refuse to waste their time and the time of other decent human beings playing stupid biropilot games. PS Do cat owners have to do the same? PPS Cats do immeasureably more environmental damage than dogs will ever do. Just a few facts, ... HMMMMMM!

    Bel Lee Bel Lee 8:42 am 06 Apr 21

    It's not dog v cat. My dog's not allowed off leash, my cat is not allowed outside at all, they both need to be registered.

    Terry O'Callaghan Terry O'Callaghan 8:56 am 06 Apr 21

    Do the same regulations apply to cat and dog owners?

Darron Marks Darron Marks 9:47 pm 05 Apr 21

What about if you fine the people you find didn't update their details when they have changed. Rather than force everyone to unnecessarily re-verify the details every year.

Seems like bureaucratic over reach to me. The costs already associated with microchip registration databases are already exorbitant.

Wayne Jones Wayne Jones 9:44 pm 05 Apr 21

THE-RIOTACT first reported this in 2019. at this stage I can only see it as "The ACT Government has proposed legislation to strengthen responsible dog ownership..." - via the cityservices.act.gov.au website. as many have said, if you've already registered (and microchipped) your pooch, then this is micromanagment overkill and/or bureaucratic madness

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