Domestic Animal Management Plan City of Greater Geelong draft 2013 2017 table of contents



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REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION


Outline programs, services and strategies to encourage the registration and identification of dogs and cats.

Current Situation


The City of Greater Geelong has the highest number of domestic animals of all Victorian municipalities. The Domestic Animals Act requires all dogs and cats to be registered with Council at 3 months of age.
A high proportion of lost unidentified animals consequently become unclaimed because these animals are not registered. When a pet is registered with Council they are provided with a registration identification tag. This enables Council to identify and return lost pets home. Additionally, registration enables Council to assist the community in complying through voluntary action and education processes.
There still continues to be misunderstanding by the community on the benefits and requirements as to why an animal is to be registered or microchipped, despite significant promotion and education.
As at December 2012 there were:

  • 35,918 registered dogs, and

  • 10,958 registered cats

Registration trends for the last four years have remained consistent.




Animal Registrations

2009

2010

2011

2012

Registered Dogs

33,387

34,084

35,783

35,918

Registered Cats

10,950

10,717

10,912

10,958



Council Policies and Procedures




Our current Education/Promotion Activities include:


  • Annual Microchipping and Registration Roadshows

  • Education workshops and seminars

  • Extensive promotional/advertising of Microchipping and Registration Roadshows for dogs and cats via radio, local newspapers, Council’s website, community billboards, Council’s Community Update, letter box drops and Council’s telephone on hold message system

  • Extensive articles and media release promoting the benefits and requirements of microchipping and registration of dogs and cats in local media, on Council’s websites, and Tag Time News (Council’s annual newsletter to registered pet owners), and Council’s Community Update

  • The annual production of Council’s Tag Time News for registered pet owners

  • The quarterly production of Council’s quarterly E newsletter Tag Time News for residents

  • Focused registration and microchipping marketing campaigns on “the ability to return dogs and cats home”

  • Subsidised microchipping and half price registration at Microchipping and Registration Roadshows

  • Trained and authorised Council Officers to implant microchips

  • The distribution of registration brochures and other material to local Vets and pet retailers for client distribution

  • The provision of a range of registration payment options

  • Encouraged dog clubs to promote the benefits of registration and microchipping to their club members

  • Promote registration renewal dates via various advertising mediums



Our Current Compliance Activities


The City’s current compliance activities include:

  • Registration and Microchipping Roadshows

  • Annually issuing dog and cat registration renewal notices

  • All non renewals are followed up with additional letters and property visits

  • Conduct an annual update/audit of the registration database

  • Carry out public patrols, conducting random dog and cat registration and microchipping checks

  • Leave ‘Sorry we missed you’ cards detailing nature of call and contact name and number of Animal Officer

  • Follow up on the sale of animals from Domestic Animal Businesses

  • All authorised officers have microchip scanners enabling them to conduct random registration and microchipping compliance checks

  • Ensure all advertisements of dogs and cats for sale in local papers contain microchip details of the animal being sold

  • Ensure all seized and impounded animals are identified as required by Council and registered to their owner prior to their release

  • Ensure all animal complaints are checked for registration and microchipping identification compliance as part of the process of dealing with the complaint

  • All authorised officers are provided with laptop computers enabling access to animal owner’s details

  • On the spot issue of infringements notices

  • Monitor all points of sale of cats and dogs

  • Provide online renewal service




Community Feedback

  • At least 80% of respondents indicated that they had their dogs/cats registered, microchipped and desexed

  • Registration rates were higher for dogs than cats (99% vs. 89%)

  • Dogs were slightly more likely to be microchipped than cats (96% vs. 80%)

  • Cats were slightly more likely to be desexed than dogs (96% vs. 91%)

Summary


Over the next four years Council will be seeking to increase the number of cats and dogs registered in the municipality. There is also a need to determine the actual number of pets residing in the community. This data would be invaluable in targeting service delivery, and education and compliance requirements for the future. These challenges will be done through conducting a pet census, education programs, registration checks during patrols, undertaken by Authorised Management Officers and checking registration details of all animals sighted during visits to residential/commercial properties.

Our Plans


  • To increase the number of dogs and cats registered in the municipality

  • To increase awareness of the requirement to register dogs and cats

  • To continue to promote animal registration and identification using various media sources and Council’s web page

  • To continue to undertake an annual registration audit

  • To have an animal officer specifically identify unregistered animals

  • To investigate options for providing additional benefits to pet owners for registering their pets

  • To promote the benefits of responsible pet ownership – focussing particularly on cats


Objective 1: Increase dog and cat registration numbers by 5% over the first 2 years of the plan. To be reviewed annually.


Activity

When

Evaluation

A dedicated animal officer will identify unregistered animals in the municipality.

Ongoing

Increase in registration numbers

Ensure all dogs & cats registered for the first time are microchipped & desexed prior to registration

Ongoing

Check all dogs are microchipped prior to registration

Develop strategy to ensure all cats that are having their registration renewed are microchipped and desexed during the life of this plan (4 years)

Ongoing

Strategy developed

Identify opportunities for funding and partnerships to deliver affordable desexing programs for the community

Ongoing

Source funding partners

To explore opportunities to appoint registration agents external to Council

Year 2

Conduct feasibility study to explore options

Conduct a pet census/survey to determine a base number of animals in the municipality with respect to delivery of service for the future including Microchipping and Registration Roadshows, Registration Door Knock Checks and Animal Patrols.

Year 1

Pet census/survey conducted and analyse

Conduct regular microchipping and registration roadshows annually.


October –

December Annually



Increase in registration and microchipped animals

Reconcile the National Microchip Registry with Council’s registration data prior to renewal period each year

Annually

Check all microchipped animals in the municipality are registered by cross-referencing registration database with information from microchip registries

Investigate the value in Council making an additional Order requiring dogs and cats to be microchipped at time of registration (i.e. those registered prior to 1 May 2007)

Year 2

Investigation conducted and decision made

To reconcile the registration outcomes for all animals that are gifted to organisations bound by agreements after their impoundment period.

Annually

Annual reconciliations and audits undertaken

Offer free registration for any dog or cat purchased from the Geelong Animal Welfare Society shelter or any other shelter in the Municipality at the point of sale. That such registration maybe reversed after seven day cooling off period.

Ongoing

Processes and procedures developed to enable offer to be implemented

Continue to send out registration reminder notices to those pet owners who have not re-registered their pets on receipt of annual renewal notice
Contact to be made via letter, phone call or Animal Officer registration door knock check

Investigate SMS technology as a medium for advising pet owners of non renewal




Annually

Number of animals re-registered after receiving the registration reminder notice
SMS technology investigated


Objective 2: To promote the benefits, value and opportunities of dog and cat registration to pet owners.


Activity

When

Evaluation

To develop and distribute educational material about dog and cat topical issues incorporate as part of the animal renewal process. Topical issues could be dog/cat containment desexing etc.

Ongoing

Material developed and distributed at animal renewal time.

Develop appropriate educational materials and distribute with registered owners of lost dogs and cats to promote containment measures

Year 1

Develop relevant material on containment measures

To issue all owners of lost dogs/cats an information package advising them of containment measures

Ongoing

Material Distributed

Promote the benefits of having dogs or cats wearing registration tag to enable the public to assist Council in reuniting dogs and cats expediently with their owners on the day without being impounded.

Ongoing

Education and promotion activities undertaken

Return any lost/wandering dog or cat to its registered owner without penalty* - where the dog/cat is currently registered and found at large for the first time. A formal warning to be issued in such circumstances.

2014

Conduct research on the viability of introducing this action to improve registration rates and lower impound rates.

*Penalties may apply where negligence is established rather than misfortune.



Explore the benefit/value of providing “free registration” for kittens & puppies from 10 October until 10 April annually.

Year 2

Conduct research to determine viability of initiative


Objective 3: Develop relationships with visitors to the municipality – keeping them informed of options to keep their pet safe in the during their visit


Activity

When

Evaluation

Explore opportunities to develop relationships with real estate agencies, accommodation houses and Visitor Information Centres to include relevant pet material in tenancy packs and visitor packs.

2014

Opportunities investigated

Relevant material developed and distributed

Reduction in lost visiting animals






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