General Pet Advice

Registering and desexing cats and dogs from July 2020.


In an effort to encourage responsible pet ownership and desexing of pets, the Office of Local Governments has passed legislation that imposes penalties on people who desex their pets later than 4 months for cats and 6 months for dogs.

But I am worried that will be bad for my pet?

There are certainly some situations where early desexing is not ideal for your pet’s health. See this page for some advice on when to desex your pet. Please come in and talk to us. For some pets there are definite medical reasons to delay desexing. In these circumstances, we are able to provide assistance with having the extra permit fee waived until your pet is able to be desexed. If you have any concerns, it is worth speaking to us about how we can help.

So what exactly are the new rules?


Note: This website was last updated July 2020. For the most up-to-date rules, please go to the Tweed Shire Council website.
The new rules state that if cats are not desexed by 4 months of age, there will be an annual permit fee of $80 on top of the life time registration fee of $50 until your cat is desexed.


Dogs that are not desexed by 6 months of age are charged $216 for lifetime registration instead of $60.
Dogs that are a restricted breed or that have been declared dangerous will also have an annual permit fee of $195.

But that’s not fair!

In New South Wales, we have been one of the few states to have introduced lifetime registration. Until now it has been much cheaper to register your pet in New South Wales than Queensland. In Queensland they still pay an annual fee regardless of whether or not a pet is desexed).
That means it is still cheaper in NSW than QLD for most pet owners! Additionally we are one of the few states with a state based registry, rather than multiple private registration databases.
This is not a council level decision, and Tweed Shire Council are not responsible for the new rules. This is a statewide decision to encourage desexing of pets. Rest assured though, if it is not in your pet’s best interests to be desexed early, we will help you where we can.
We strongly encourage you to register your pets, regardless of when they are desexed. There can be heavy fines, which range from $330 – $5500 according to the Office of Local Government Website.

What is the difference between microchipping and registering my pet?

Microchipping involves a needle to place a small chip the size of a grain of rice.

A vet can place a small microchip under your pet’s skin – this is called microchipping. We also usually register this number in the NSW Pet Registry database (unless you specify otherwise. There are some privately run databases in Australia). But this is not the same as registering.
Registering your pet is a separate step you take after your vet has microchipped your pet. You need to log onto the NSW Pet Registry database and create your own profile, and pay the life-time registration fee. This fee enables council to keep track of the number of animals in the shire, and facilitates location of lost and stray pets.