Section 11 Companion Animals Act 1998 | Failing to Notify Changes and Events


If you own a cat or dog, s 11 of the Companion Animals Act requires you to notify your local council of any changes to your pet’s circumstances.

Your local council will then ensure that the NSW Companion Animals Register is notified and updated of any changes. This is an electronic database of cats and dogs which contains contact information for your pet, as well as any other important information.

You are required to notify your local council of any changes to your pet’s circumstances if they are a cat or dog, including working dogs or other dogs which are not strictly considered to be ‘pets’ or ‘companion animals’.

The types of circumstances and events that you must report include:

  • Changes in the animal’s registration or identification information – for example, if you sell or give away the pet to someone else, if you change address, or if your contact details change. You must notify your local council within 14 days of the changes.
  • If your dog has been declared by the court to be a dangerous or menacing dog, or if a dangerous or menacing dog declaration has been revoked – you must notify your local council within 7 days of the dangerous/menacing dog declaration being made or revoked.
  • If your pet dies – you must notify your local council within 28 days of the animal’s death.
  • If your pet has been missing for more than 72 hours – you must notify your local council within 96 hours of the animal going missing.
  • If an animal that you previously reported as being missing is found – you must give notification to your local council within 72 hours of the animal being found.
  • Any other significant or ‘notifiable’ events. 

These laws are designed to benefit you and your pet by ensuring that accurate information is maintained. Correct and accurate information can help speed up the search process if your pet goes missing and ensures that you are reunited with your pet as soon as possible if it is found.

If you fail to tell your council of any changes in your pet’s circumstances, you could be fined $880, or $5,500 if your dog is a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog.

If you’ve been wrongly fined or charged under s 11 of the Companion Animals Act, our experienced animal law experts can advise you of your options and how to fight the charges.

Our in-depth knowledge and experience of animal law has allowed us to help other clients avoid heavy fines and other unduly harsh penalties.

For the best advice and representation in your animal law matter, contact us on (02) 9261 8881 and find out how we can help you avoid a penalty.

The Legislation

Section 11 of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is Failing to Notify Changes and Events and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s leading Companion Animals Act lawyers, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence lawyers help you.

11 Owner required to notify certain changes and events 

(1) The owner of an identified companion animal (whether or not it is registered) must notify the Director-General when any of the following happens:
(a) any change occurs in the registration information or identification information for the animal (notification must be given within 14 days after the change occurs),
(b) the making or revocation of a declaration by a court under Part 5 that the animal (being a dog) is dangerous (notification must be given within 7 days after the declaration is made or revoked),
(c) the animal dies (notification must be given within 28 days after the animal dies),
(d) the animal has been missing for more than 72 hours (notification must be given within 96 hours after the animal went missing),
(d1) the animal has been found after having been reported missing (notification must be given within 72 hours after the animal is found),
(e) any other event prescribed as a notifiable event by the regulations. Maximum penalty:
(a) 8 penalty units except in the case of a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog, or
(b) 50 penalty units in the case of a dangerous, menacing or restricted dog.

(2) The regulations may provide for the manner in which a notification under this section is to be given to the Director-General. Notification is not considered to have been given unless it is given in compliance with any such applicable provisions of the regulations.

(3) When the Director-General is notified of a change in registration information, the Director-General is to provide the registered owner of the animal with a certificate of registration free of charge showing the registration information as changed. If the change is a change of ownership, the certificate of registration is to be provided to the new owner.

(4) A person who in any notification given for the purposes of this section makes a statement or gives information that the person knows is false or misleading in a material particular is guilty of an offence. Maximum penalty: 8 penalty units.