There are many animals in Darebin that are in need of a loving home. Last year more than 1000 pets were collected by Darebin’s rangers with a number not returning to their home. If you are thinking about a new pet, why not adopt from Councils pound or one of our local rescue groups.

Can you foster a pet?


If you are thinking about a pet but are unsure if you can commit, why not become a foster carer. As a foster carer you could look after an abandoned or surrendered animal until permanent homes are found. Councils pound and our local rescue groups are always looking for foster carers.


Local Rescue Groups


Losing a pet can be a very stressful time, and we want to help reunite you with your animal companion. Registered pets are given a tag to allow for easy identification by Council Officers.

Tips on looking for a lost pet:

  • Check hiding places in your yard/garage.

  • Ask your neighbours (and several houses each side of yours) to check their yards and garages.

  • Call local vet clinics and the local pound to lodge a lost report. Ensure you include as much detail regarding your pet and current contact details for yourself.

  • Contact the company your pet’s microchip is registered with to ensure your contact details are up to date, and to change your pet’s status to missing. If you are unsure what company your pet’s microchip is registered with, but know what their microchip number is, visit Your vet may have the microchip number on record if you cannot find it.

  • If you have access to social media such as Facebook, consider joining Darebin Lost Animals or other lost animal pages relevant to your area. You can post a photo and a description of your lost pet on the visitor’s post page so that followers and visitors to the page can assist you with your search.  

  Facebook iconFacebook Darebin Lost Animals

 View a list of pets currently held at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility at

If you live close to a neighbouring Council, check which pound they use as your pet may be taken to another Council’s pound if found.


Epping Animal Welfare Facility

The Epping Animal Welfare Facility will take over from the Lost Dogs’ Home as Council’s pound provider from Monday 16th October 2017.  The new pet shelter, which sets new standards for animal welfare, has been built by the City of Darebin in partnership with the Cities of Whittlesea and Moreland.


The facility will be managed and operated by the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and will provide shelter, accommodation and adoption services for all lost, abandoned and  unidentified animals from the City of Darebin.


The facility will also care for injured or sick animals and provide vaccination and de-sexing for unclaimed animals so they can be adopted.


Epping Animal Welfare Facility


20 Companion Place (previously 20 Pound Rd)

Epping VIC 3076

Ph: 8401 6600


Hours of Operation: 

Mon, Wed, Fri : 11am to 7pm

Tue,  Thu : 7am to 3pm

Weekends and Public Holidays : 9am 4pm



Reporting a found animal

If you have found a stray pet, contact Council on 8470 8888. A request can be lodged for an Animal Collections Officer to collect the animal. The Officer can then check the animal for identification and attempt to reunite it with its owner. If you call outside of business hours you will be directed to Council’s after hours service on 8470 8889.

Alternatively, you can take the animal directly to the Epping Animal Welfare Facility.


After Hours Service

Council offers a 24/7 emergency collection service.  This deals with animal management emergencies including dog attacks, injured animals and any other situations deemed by an authorised officer to be an emergency.

Found animals reported after 7pm not deemed an emergency will be noted and collection will be arranged during business hours.  

If you are not able to hold the animal you can take it to a local vet, Bundoora Veterinary Clinic & Hospital, 17 Plenty Road, Bundoora or to Epping Animal Welfare Facility, 20 Companion Place Epping, phone 8401 6600. If you are not able to assist with transport, report this when you are speaking with the after hour’s service.

Collected animals are transported to Council’s holding facility while all efforts are made to return registered lost animals avoiding the need to go the pound.  This process is in line with Darebin’s Domestic Animal Management Plan 2017-21. 


Wandering Dogs and Cats

If you can't find the owner of a lost animal, please contact Council as wandering dogs can be a danger to themselves and other people.

Customer Service
Ph: 8470 8888

Click here for more information on keeping cats in Darebin.

Cat Curfew

From 1 January 2021, the City of Darebin night-time cat curfew (from 7pm to 7am) will come into effect. The curfew applies 7 days a week, year-round.

This means that residents must keep their cats confined within their property boundary during this time.

Council resolved to introduce a cat curfew at its meeting on 17 August 2020 after community feedback largely supported the initiative.

Need more information on the cat curfew and what it means for you?

Cat curfew FAQs

DIY Cat Enclosures


Caring for your cat

Cats can make great companions and a wonderful addition to a family. Studies show that having a cat can have many physical and psychological benefits such as improving cardiovascular health and reducing stress and anxiety.

Whilst there are many things that cats can do for their families, it is important that their family also takes care of them by providing them a safe and healthy environment and also by following laws regarding cat ownership.

Darebin Pets Factsheet

Safe and Happy Cats

Cat Nuisance

Whilst cats make wonderful companions for many people, not everybody enjoys their company. Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, cats must not trespass on private property without permission. Residents may trap unwanted cats found on their properties.

Council receives several cat nuisance complaints every week. Cats may cause nuisance by:

  • Damaging garden beds and children’s sandpits by toileting in them which can create health concerns

  • Cause unwanted noise and disturbance by mating and fighting with other cats and also leading to dogs barking

  • Breeding

  • Spraying offensively on doors, mats, furniture and other areas

  • Attacking and killing wildlife and domestic animals

  • Causing stress to resident animals

  • Aggravating people’s allergies

Tips to prevent unwanted cat visitors

If the issue is unable to be resolved by speaking to the cat’s owner (if known) or using cat safe deterrents, contact Council on (03) 8470 8888 to speak to one of our Customer Service staff. Council can provide humane cat traps to residents if required.

Unidentifiable or unregistered cats will be taken to the Epping Animal Welfare Facility. Release and registration fees apply. Penalties may also apply for unwanted trespass on private property (after first offence).

All cats and dogs over the age of 3 months must be microchipped and registered with the owners local Council with registrations expiring on 10 April each year.


2021/2022 renewal notices will be sent via email or post in March 2021.

If you do not receive your pet registration renewal notice, please contact Customer Service on 03 8470 8888.


You can renew your pet registration 



Pets being registered must be microchipped and can only be registered in one person’s name (not in a company name).


Darebin Council offers pensioners one free animal registration yearly for each household. This applies to the lowest cost animal registered at the property. This offer does not apply to declared dangerous, menacing dogs, or restricted breed dogs.

To be eligible for a discount you must be the holder of a current Pensioner Concession Card (Centrelink, or Veterans’ Affairs) or Department of Veteran Affairs Gold Card specifying TPI or War Widow.

Discounts do not apply for Health Care Card holders.


Complete the Application for Pet Registration and supply proof of microchipping, desexing and your pension card along with your application and forward to:

If you are eligible for a pensioner free registration, Council will process your application and provide you with a lifetime tag for your pet.

For applicants that are not eligible for a pensioner free registration, Council will provide you an invoice at the pensioner reduced rate.



As part of registering online, you will need to upload digital copies of relevant supporting documents, such as the microchipping certificate and pay the registration fee by Visa or MasterCard. Pensioner registrations cannot be submitted online (see above section).


CAT REGISTRATION - to register a cat online select one of the following:

Please note that a letter or statutory declaration from the owner of the pet is not acceptable proof.

Select to register a non desexed cat

This registration is for cats that have been microchipped and not desexed:

  • Proof of microchipping is required

Select to register a desexed cat

             This registration is for cats that are desexed:      

  • Proof of Microchipping and desexing is required 

            Select to register a cat that is registered with an approved organisation 

            This registration is for cats that are registered with one of the following organisations:

  • Australian National Cats Inc
  • Feline Control Council (Victoria) Inc.
  • The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy Australia and Victoria Inc.

              Current paid certificate of membership is required          



If you are unsure of your cats registration category, please complete the Application for Pet Registration and send with all your supporting information to


Council will assess your application and invoice you accordingly.



DOG REGISTRATION - to register a dog online select one of the following:

Please note that a letter or statutory declaration from the owner of the pet is not acceptable proof.         

Select to register a non desexed dog

This registration is for dogs that have been microchipped and not desexed:

  • Proof of microchipping is required

Select to register a desexed dog

This registration is for dogs that are desexed:

  • Proof of Microchipping and desexing is required

Select to register a dog over 10 years of age

This registration is for dogs that are over 10 years of age and microchipped:

  • Proof of Microchipping and age is required

Select to register a dog that is registered with an approved organisation

This registration is for dogs that are registered with one of the following organisations:

  • Dogs Victoria
  • Master Breeders and Associates  

Current paid certificate of membership is required


Select to register a dog that has undergone approved obedience training

This registration is for dogs that have achieved a certificate recognised by the Victorian Canine Association Inc. The following is a list of approved obedience training assocation:

A copy of the certificate is required


If you are unsure of your dogs registration category, please complete the Application for Pet Registration and send with all your supporting information to


Council will assess your application and invoice you accordingly.



For a schedule of animal registration fees, please see

City of Darebin pet registration fees 2021 


Pet owners must pay the full fee unless the pet is desexed (or over 10 years old, or a member of an applicable organisation).



Council does not refund registration fees for pets that move from the Darebin area or are lost, missing, or deceased.


When you register your dog or cat, you receive a life time tag with a unique number that must be fastened to your pet's collar.


The first time you register your pet, your pet will need to be microchipped. Microchipping your pet greatly improves their chances of being returned to you if they become lost. If you move house update your contact details with us which allows us to quickly reunite you with your pet.


  • A "Return Home" service - if your registered pet is collected by a Darebin ranger, every attempt will be made to contact you with the aim of returning you pet to you as quickly as possible;
  • A 24/7 emergency collection service;
  • A pound service that is currently run by the RSPCA. If your animal is currently registered and wearing its Council registration tag, you will be contacted as soon as possible to collect your pet;
  • A program to subsidise the de-sexing of pets living in Darebin and regular discounted microchipping days;
  • Part of the registration fee includes the State Government Levy which is used to help provide education programs for schools and preschools as well as adults. The levy is also used to fund State Government research into dog and cat welfare and control issues;
  • One free pet registration per household for pensioners (the cheaper pet will receive the free registration where there are multiple pets per household).


Making sure your contact details are kept current is the best way you can ensure the return of your pet if they become lost. Vets, animal shelters and local Councils can scan the microchip and then contact you to let you know the location of your pet.

Moving to Darebin with your pet

If you have registered your pet at another council for the current registration year, you can transfer it to the City of Darebin.

  1. Complete the Application for Pet Registration form

  2. Provide proof of your pet's microchip details, desexing certificate and proof of payment at your previous Council.

  3. Make payment of a $6.00 transfer fee (you will be sent information about how to make this payment).


Update or cancel your pet’s registration

If your details have changed, you no longer live in the City of Darebin, or your pet is no longer with you please notify us by emailing


Update your pet’s Microchip

Updating your details with Council does not automatically update your pet’s Microchip. Additional information on who to contact to change your contact details with your pet’s microchip registry database can be found at RSPCA.  Your microchip information is important if your pet is lost or found outside of Darebin.


Changing or updating your pet’s ownership

 If you take over ownership of a cat or dog that is already registered in the City of Darebin, complete the  Change of Details Form



There are restrictions on the number of animals you can keep on your premises. You may require a permit depending on the number of animals you have, and if the animal is to reside in a premises with no backyard.

When is a Pet Permit required?
You will require a Council permit if you wish to keep more than:

  • 2 Cats
  • 2 Dogs
  • 5 Poultry (excluding roosters)
  • 5 Mice, rats, ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters
  • 10 Birds (including budgerigars, canaries, finches and pigeons)

Which animals are not permitted?

  • Roosters
  • Horses, donkeys
  • Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs
  • Any animals not listed above

How to Apply

  1. Complete the Pet Permit Form and seek written approval from your neighbours
  2. Supply proof of your current licence or pet registration.
  3. Return the form with your fee payment ($56.00) by mail or in-person at any Darebin Customer Service Centre.

Darebin City Council
PO Box 91
Preston VIC 3072


Domestic Animal Business Permits
Permits are also required for businesses who keep animals on their premises (pet shops, breeders, animal shelters, animal pounds). Complete the Domestic Animal Business Permit Form. Keeping any animals which have not been mentioned directly here must be done in accordance with any laws and with permission of Council.

Domestic Animal Business' must also comply with the Victorian Code of Conduct for additional information please visit


Desexing your pet can be a great choice if you are unlikely to want to breed from your pet. Dogs and cats can be safely desexed from three months of age.

Desexing your pet can be a great choice if you are unlikely to want to breed from your pet.

Why should I desex my pet?

  • Desexed dogs and cats can be better behaved and are less likely to roam.
  • Desexed cats are less likely to yowl at night or spray strong smelling urine.
  • Desexing your pets can also be a health benefit, as it can prevent them from getting certain types of cancer.
  • You'll also be helping to avoid contributing to the problem of pet overpopulation in Victoria.
  • Council also provides a discount registration and permit rate for pets that are desexed. The savings keep be substantial as registration is required annually. 

Dogs and cats can be safely desexed from three months of age. Talk to your vet about the best age to desex your pet.



Owners are responsible for complying with the law, which includes registering and microchipping dogs and cats over 3 months old. Permits are sometimes necessary if you have more than one animal on your property.

There is no doubt that dogs and cats make great pets, besides giving you unconditional love the health benefits for you have been proven in many studies. Owning a pet can also be great for teaching children responsibility, and helps develop their social and nurturing skills.

Owners are responsible for complying with the law, which includes registering and microchipping dogs and cats over 3 months old.

Legally you are liable if your dog is not securely confined to your property, therefore your yard must have a closed gate and an escape proof fence.Visitors must have safe access to your front door, without being stopped by your dog. Cat owners are not allowed to let their cat trespass on other peoples property.

If you mistreat or fail to properly care for your pet you can be taken to court and face fines, time in jail or bans on owning an animal.

If the owner of the pet is under 18 years old, the parent or guardian is deemed the legal owner of the pet in the event of any penalties or prosecutions.


Avoiding Dog Attacks

80% of hospitalised dog attack victims are bitten in private homes by their own dog, or that of a friend or neighbour. Therefore it is important to know how to approach a dog safely, and in particular, children need to be taught how to behave around dogs.

Children aged 0-4 years old are most at risk of a serious injury from a dog bite. Parents need to be aware of the importance of active supervision. There are a number of education programs available to teach children and parents about safety around dogs.

Further Information:


Pet Training

Train your dog and cat to ensure they are well behaved and to ease their boredom. Training your dog means being able to control your dog both at home and well in public. Training can be useful for dogs and cats to help them socialise with other people and animals.Training can help prevent and treat behaviorial problems in your pet. 

Darebin has a several Dog Associations you can turn to for training and advice, and your vet may be able to advise you about puppy preschool or kitten kinder classes.

Further Information


Domestic Animal Management Plan

In October 2017 , Council adopted the Domestic Animal Management Plan for Darebin’s Municipality. The Plan aims to guide Council and the community towards the goal of responsible animal ownership and management. The plan aims to encourage and incentivise responsible pet ownership, which in turn lowers the number of unwanted or abandoned animals in the community.


We are working to reduce the number of dog attacks, increase the number of pets registered and micro-chipped, and reduce euthanasia rates. We're currently asking for community feedback to help us prepare our next draft Domestic Animal Management Plan. Click here to find out more.

We are educating the community about responsible pet ownership and have a number of initiatives that are working to:

  •  reduce the number of dog attacks
  •  increase the proportion of pets registered and micro-chipped, and
  •  reduce euthanasia rates

 Some of our initiatives include:

  • A lost and found Facebook page that is helping to reunite owners with their pets - Darebin Lost Animals.
  • Partnering with rescue groups so they can rehouse more animals and extending the holding period at our pound service provider.
  • Educating the community about responsible pet ownership, including the benefits of desexing, registration and micro-chipping.
  • The creation of a Rescue Officer position.

Sadly, there will always be a high number of unwanted or abandoned animals in the community which means there will always be animals that can't be rehomed. Examples include feral cats that kill native animals, diseased animals or dangerous dogs that pose an unacceptable risk to people an their pets. You can also help by choosing to adopt a pet from a reputable animal shelter or rescue group.

Domestic Animal Management Plan

In accordance with the Domestic Animals Act 1994, Council will develop a new Domestic Animal Management Plan in 2021. This plan outlines the Council’s services, programs and policies and community animal management issues.

Darebin Council has partnered with Whittlesea and Moreland Councils to jointly seek expert support in development of their next plans. Consulting with community is an important part of developing this plan and the intial consultation will take place from April 6 - April 27. Information gathered at this stage will help develop the draft plan, which will be released for further consultation later in 2021.

You can now tell us what you think about animal management within the City of Darebin by filling out our online survey or join us at one of our pop-up sessions to tell us your ideas in person. You can find us at:

  • Wednesday April 7, 10:00am-11:30am, outside Preston Council Offices, 350 High St, Preston
  • Wednesday April 7, 2:30pm-4:00pm, outside Reservoir Library, 23 Edwardes St, Reservoir
  • Sunday April 11, 2:00pm-3:30pm, at the Brickworks Lane entrance to All Nations Park, Northcote

Feedback is open until April 27. For more information, please visit


Epping Animal Welfare Facility

COVID-19 and the EAWF Shelter

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our community, including our animals.

The good news is that the Epping Animal Welfare Facility saw a drop in stray animal impounds and surrenders and saw an unprecedented demand for animals for community members to adopt.

With a large proportion of people confined to their homes, and social interaction limited, many people sought companionship by fostering or adopting an animal.

Like other parts of the community, the RSPCA staff at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility adapted their services to operate in a COVID safe way. Animals were available for viewing by appointment and online adoption applications were available to the public.

For more information on animals available for adoption at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility, visit

Contract Review

The RSPCA commenced the operation of pound services at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility on 16th October 2017 with a contract term of 10 years, with a mid-term review milestone.

In 2021, ahead of the mid-term review milestone in the contract, Council will review of these services to look at whether there are opportunities to strengthen services including its foster and volunteer programs. 

Animal Rescue Group Partnerships

Council has developed a number of community animal Rescue Group partnerships to support the most vulnerable animals.

Orphaned Kittens

Council has implemented a Neonate Rescue Program for orphaned kittens weighing 500 grams or less. All these kittens are referred to our rescue partner, Maneki Neko Cat Rescue who have many dedicated foster carers who can provide the care they need. Maneki Neko Cat Rescue raises these kittens and they are then made available for adoption through their adoption program.

For more information on our rescue partners, visit the Adopt a Pet section on out Pets page.

Surrendered Animals

Most animals that are surrendered to Council by residents who can no longer give them a home are offered to our community Rescue Group partners for a safe and smooth transition into a new home.

This is often a traumatic and confusing time for an animal and so, transfer into a foster home whilst a new permanent home is sought, is a great way to transition an animal whilst reducing their stress at a difficult time.



A number of our local parks and reserves permit you to bring your pet for a walk to allow your pet to exercise along with you. Some parks also provide off-leash areas to allow your dog to go for a run.

Remember that parks are for everyone, and follow the guidelines below:

  • Clean up after your pet.
  • Dog owners should still carry a leash at all times.
  • Ensure your dog remains in sight and can be controlled by the sound of your voice.
  • Ensure your dog does not threaten other people or animals (owner’s are subject to liability from issues that may arise).

Which parks allow me to walk my pet?

Video: The benefits of microchipping your pets.