Dog and Cat Foster Carers

The Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Act 2017 recognises the important role foster carers, community foster care networks and rescue organisations play in the management of lost, stray and abandoned dogs and cats in the Victorian community. This act creates a voluntary enrolment scheme for individual foster carers.

Under current Victorian law foster carers:

  • Are required to register all animals (over three months of age) housed at their premises with the local council even if the animal is only with them temporarily
  • Can receive reduced registration fees if they choose to enrol in the Foster Carers Voluntary Enrolment Scheme.

Registration with Council as a foster carer is not compulsory however, to obtain the reduced registration rate for cats and dogs in their care, foster carers must register and take part in the scheme.

Foster carers who enrol receive:

  • A reduced registration rate of $8 for each dog they foster during the first 12 months the dog is in their care
  • A reduced registration rate of $8 for each cat they foster during the first 12 months the cat is in their care
  • The ability to use pet shops as a means of providing additional community exposure to dogs six months of age or older, and cats eight weeks of age or older.

Foster carers not registered with Council will be required to register any dogs and cats over the age of three months of age at the normal registration rate.

The Number of Animals that can be Fostered

Foster Care is the care of a stray, abandoned or unwanted dog or cat (whether or not as part of a community foster care network) that is temporary or for the purpose of finding a new home for the dog or cat and that takes place on premises on which the care is being provided to no more than:

  • 5 dogs or animal adult equivalent dogs
  • 5 cats or animal adult equivalent cats
  • a combination of 5 dogs and cats or animal adult equivalent dogs and cats.

Note: These are in addition to your own pets.

An adult equivalent means:

  • A dog or cat 16 weeks or older
  • A litter of puppies/kittens between 8 and 16 weeks of age
  • A mother and her litter up to the age of 8 weeks.

More information can be obtained from the State Government fact sheets on Foster Carers and Animal Rescue

Permits for Excess Animals

If you have been granted a permit as a Voluntary Foster Carer you will need to apply for an excess animal permit ( DOC 402KB).

Apply for the Voluntary Enrolment Scheme

To apply to be part of the Foster Carers Voluntary Enrolment Scheme you first need to discuss your application with a member of Council’s Community Laws Team. Contact Council to discuss enroling. Council may also need to organise an inspection of your property.