Colac Otway urges all pet owners to understand their responsibilities

Published on 09 May 2019

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Colac Otway urges all pet owners to understand their responsibilities

Colac Otway Shire Council is urging pet owners to help tackle the problem of feral cats and address other pet-related issues which affect our community.

Council is reminding pet owners that their pet registrations are now overdue and encouraging people to understand why it’s so important to have their pets registered and how they can save money and environment by having their cats desexed.

Council’s compliance coordinator Graeme Murphy said Council dealt with about 120 feral cats a year but it was a problem which affected the local community, wildlife and could be costly to Council.

“Research shows that an unspayed female and male cat and their offspring could produce two litters a year, and with just 2.8 surviving kittens a year, more than 11,000 cats can be produced in five years.

“It is so important for cat owners to make sure their pets are desexed and if they aren’t desexed it is critical they are kept indoors or contained to cat enclosures,” he said.

“Cats can make great pets, but unless owners are responsible, cats can cause devastation for wildlife and be a real nuisance for neighbours.

“We often receive reports of domestic cats causing issues for residents and these cats, if they aren’t desexed, also contribute to the other problem of feral cats.

“Compliance officers don’t want to have to impound cats or dogs, and certainly don’t want to have to euthanase feral cats,” Mr Murphy said.

“And the best way to reduce the number of feral cats euthanased is to have your cat desexed and the best way to make sure your cat or dog can be returned home if it strays is by having them microchipped and registered.”

Mr Murphy reminded pet owners that annual registrations were due to be paid on April 10.

He said all pet owners needed to register their cats or dogs by the time they were three months old, under State legislation.

“Registering a microchipped and desexed cat is $20 a year or only $10 for pensioners, while a microchipped and desexed dog registration is $25 a year or $12.50 for pensioners,” he said.

“But the fine, also set by the State Government, for failing to register a cat or dog is $322.

“Whether it’s registering your pet, taking a bag with you picking up after your dog or making sure your cat isn’t contributing to the feral cat population, Council is urging all pet owners to do the right thing.”

Learn more about pet registration on the Council’s website www.colacotway.vic.gov.au/My-property/Pets-animals-livestock/Pet-registration