Introduction of free lifetime registration for rescued pets : increases to companion animal fees

From 1 July 2021, the NSW Government is introducing free lifetime registration for people who adopt a rescue pet from council pounds and animal shelters, and rehoming organisations.

​All registration and annual permit fees have been adjusted for 2021/22.

The 2021-22 registration and permit fees effective from 1 July 2021 are prescribed below:

Councils must continue to register eligible pound/shelter animals through the NSW Companion Animals Register. Free registration for these animals does not mean that registration is not required. The established process of ‘flagging’ an animal as being purchased from an eligible pound/shelter is required to validate a free registration.

When processing a registration for an eligible pensioner whose pet has been recommended by a vet to not undergo desexing (either temporarily or permanently), Councils are now advised to select the new “not desexed (not recommended – pensioner)” category which will allow the eligible pensioner to claim the discounted registration.

  • The Companion Animals Regulation 2018 has been amended so that

  • cl.18(2)(a) sets the baseline registration fee for a dog at $66; and

  • cl.18(2)(c) has been removed and replaced by a new clause under section 18(4) to prescribe that no registration fee is payable for a companion animal that is desexed and sold to the owner by a rehoming organisation.

  • Clause 18(2)(b) is unchanged in that the registration fee for a cat would remain at $10 less than the registration fee for a dog ($56). However, to avoid doubt, a new clause prescribed as 18(6C) sets out the registration fee for a dog and cat at $66 and $56. The amounts include the CPI adjustment.

  • The regulation amendments override the registration fee for a dog notified in the Companion Animals (Adjustable Fee Amounts) Notice 2021 that was gazetted on 3 June 2021.

  • The CPI adjusted registration fee for pensioners, the additional fee for a non-desexed dog, late fee and permit fees remain as per the notice (as outlined in the table above).

  • The Companion Animals Register will be modified to allow councils to apply the new lifetime registration and permit fees from 1 July 2021, including the use of the existing pound/shelter registration categories that will now have a $0 fee.

  • The NSW Pet Registry will be updated to include the new fees for online registration and permit payments made by pet owners from 1 July 2021.

  • Both the old and new fee structures will be maintained on the Companion Animals Register to allow councils to correct registration details for existing records and catch up on data entry backlogs (i.e. where fees have been receipted before 1 July 2021 but not entered on the Register).

  • As advised in Circular to Councils 21-03, the annual permit fee (cats) or the additional registration fee (dogs) does not apply if the new owner purchases the animal from a pound/shelter/approved rehoming organisation. A late fee also cannot be applied.