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Owning a pet

Before obtaining an animal, there are many things to take into consideration.

Pet shop and /or shelter registration

A person must not operate a pet shop or shelter on a premise that is not registered with the Council.

Don't forget to check local animal shelters when considering buying pet.

Sale of animals

All animals offered for sale must be weaned and fully self-sufficient. 
The minimum age of animals for sale is:

  • 8 weeks for dogs and cats
  • 5 weeks for rabbits
  • 4 weeks for guinea pigs
  • 3 weeks for mice.

Juvenile birds must be self-sufficient and should be fully feathered (moult permitting).

Unweaned animals must not be on the shop premises.


Dogs and cats must be vaccinated at least 14 days prior to sale to cover such diseases as canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis and canine parvovirus for dogs, and infectious feline enteritis and feline respiratory disease (cat flu) for cats.

All dogs and cats sold must have a vaccination certificate signed by a veterinarian stating that the animal has been vaccinated in accordance with the label instructions of the manufacturer of the vaccine. This certificate must indicate the next date for further vaccination and any obvious defects.

No animal with a potentially life threatening defect apparent at the time of sale should be sold.

Care information

Purchasers of pet animals must be given literature about feeding, desexing, parasite control, health (including procedures for emergency treatment during the guarantee period), housing, responsible pet ownership and current legislation covering the registration of pets.

Guarantee and refund

If your animal is not acceptable because of health or other reasons that are supported by a statement from a veterinarian (excluding accidents) within 7 days of purchase, pet shop proprietors must take the animal back and refund all monies or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

If the animal is returned within 3 days for any other reason, the pet shop must refund 75% of the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

If the animal dies or is euthanized as a result of a disease that is traceable to the point of sale, the pet shop proprietor must refund the purchase price or offer a replacement animal with the same guarantee.

Other pets

Cats and dogs make great pets, but are not always the most practical or best option. Other pets may better suit your current lifestyle or situation. A small pet such as a bird, fish or rabbit can be a great way to introduce young children to pets. Just remember that these pets often require just as much care and attention as a dog or cat to stay happy and healthy. The Victoria State Government website has further information on:

What types of pets can I own?

Some animals are not suitable for life in the suburbs. The Local Law 2 regulates the type and number of animals you can keep on a single property. This protects the amenity of the area as well as looking after the welfare interests of animals that are unsuitable for a residential area.

With relevant permits, you are allowed to have 6 different types of animals on one parcel of land.

Animal Allowed in 6 (per property)
Cats 2
Cattle None
Dogs 2
Domestic birds (excluding noisy birds) 20 maximum
Domestic fish No maximum limit
Domestic mice 20 maximum
Domestic rabbits 4
Domestic turtles, tortoises, frogs and the like No maximum limit
Goats None
Guinea pigs 4
Horses/donkeys and the like None
Large birds and/or noisy birds None
Pigeons None
Pigs None
Poultry (chickens only, roosters are prohibited) 10 maximum
Sheep None
Any other agricultural animals None