Under legislation introduced by the NSW Government, Orange residents keeping restricted dog breeds, dangerous dogs and non-desexed cats, must pay an annual fee.
The state government introduced the changes on July 1, requiring owners of dogs, of a restricted breed or declared to be dangerous, to pay a $195 annual permit in addition to their one-off lifetime pet registration fee. This applies to dogs already registered.
Cats which are not desexed by four months of age are subject to an $80 annual permit, as well as a one-off lifetime pet registration fee.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the annual permits would provide an incentive for people to desex their cats.
“Desexing your pet is better for the overall health and wellbeing of the animal,” Cr Kidd said.
“Ultimately it is the responsible thing to do to help reduce the number of cats which end up as strays, killing native wildlife, getting diseases and ending up at city pounds to be euthanised.”
Exemptions are in place for cats registered by 1 July 2020, cats kept for breeding purposes by members of recognised breeding bodies, and cats which cannot be desexed for medical reasons.
Orange City Council’s Companion Animal Community Committee Chair Stephen Nugent welcomed the changes and said the legislation would encourage dog owners to better manage their pet’s behaviours.
“The legislation may encourage people who take on a dog to ensure it receives the right training, care and stimulation so that it never becomes a dangerous dog,” Cr Nugent said.
“Placing further control measures on dangerous and restricted dogs will serve as a further disincentive to owning high-risk dogs.”
Restricted dog breeds are the pit bull terrier, American pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, Argentinian fighting dog, Brazilian fighting dog, and canary mastiff. A dog can also be declared to be one of, or a cross-breed of, one of these restricted breeds
Pet owners will be able to pay for annual permits using the online NSW Pet Registry, or through Orange City Council.
Annual permit fees go to the NSW Companion Animals Fund which pays for companion animal management by local councils including pounds, shelters, ranger services, dog recreation areas, and education and awareness programs.
Pet owners who fail to obtain an annual permit risk an on-the-spot fine of $700 for restricted or dangerous dogs and $400 for non-desexed cats.