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We understand... you and your dog you and your cat now is the time to register your dog desexing cats leads to less unwanted kittens that every dog can bite that Good owners lead to good dogs that good cats have purrfect owners

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For Rescue Organisations

Give Me Shelter - South Australia's new dog and cat laws: a guide for shelter and rescue organisations

Sellers and Pet Shops Legislative Overview

Animal shelters and rescue organisations may have obligations under the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 if:

  • Dogs and/or cats are sold (regardless of whether a profit or loss is made)
  • Dogs and/or cats are advertised for sale
  • Dogs and/or cats have a litter whilst in the care of the organisation
  • Dogs (and cats if applicable) in care for more than 14 days

Dogs and/or cats are sold

The act of selling includes the collection of adoption fees.

All dogs and cats must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or upon sale unless the dog or cat has an exemption granted by a vet.  

A 'person' who sells an animal they have ‘bred’ are required to be registered on Dogs and Cats Online.

All dogs over 3 months of age must be registered to a person over 16 years of age in the Council they are kept.

Dogs and/or cats are advertised for sale

Advertisements for the sale of dog or cats must include the name and telephone number of the seller and the name and telephone number of each breeder and their breeder registration number.

Upon sale of any dog or cat the buyer must be provided with specific information. Please see Sale of Dogs and Cats webpage. 

Dogs and/or cats have a litter whilst in the care of the organisation

If you rescue pregnant dogs or cats that give birth whilst in your care then you need to be registered as a breeder to sell those puppies or kittens. The cost is $75 per year. Organisations cannot be registered as a breeder, so you will need to nominate a responsible person to represent your rescue organisation. 

If you are breeding dogs or cats you are required to comply with the South Australian Standards and Guidelines for the Breeding and Trading Companion Animals which sets out welfare standards and guidelines for dogs and cats.

For more information about what constitutes as 'breeding', please visit the For Breeders webpage

Dogs (and cats if applicable) in care for more than 14 days

Every dog of or over 3 months of age must be registered on Dogs and Cats Online. RSPCA (SA) and the AWL (SA) are exempt from this requirement. Registrations can only be made in a person’s name, so a responsible person over the age of 16 will need to be nominated as the owner on behalf of the organisation.

The address where the dog is kept should be entered in the registration process. If the dog is fostered, the dog’s status can be set as fostered and the foster address can be set as a temporary address. 

In relation to cats, check to see if your local council has a cat by-law that requires registration. The by-law will set out the requirements for cat registration.  If registration is required it will be managed through Dogs and Cats Online.

All dogs and cats born after 1st July 2018 must be desexed by 6 months of age or within 28 days of an owner taking possession unless the dog or cat has an exemption granted by a vet or other limited exemptions apply.