Dog and cat foster carers

Domestic animal foster carers must register all animals housed at their premises, even if with them for a short time.

Under State Government legislation, foster carers can receive reduced registration fees if they choose to enrol in the Foster Carers Voluntary Enrolment Scheme.

Foster carers who enrol receive:

  • a reduced registration rate of $8 for each dog they foster during the first 12 months the dog is in their care
  • a reduced registration rate of $8 for each cat they foster during the first 12 months the cat is in their care
  • the ability to use pet shops as a means of providing additional community exposure to dogs six months of age or older, and cats eight weeks of age or older.

Apply for the Voluntary Enrolment Scheme

To apply to be part of the Foster Carers Voluntary Enrolment Scheme you first need to discuss your application with a member of Council’s Local Laws Team.

Call us on 1300 88 22 33 to discuss. We may also need to organise an inspection of your property.

Permits for excess animals

If you have been granted a permit as a Voluntary Foster Carer you will not be required to apply for an excess animal permit.

What is foster care?

Foster Care is the care of a stray, abandoned or unwanted dog or cat (whether or not as part of a community foster care network) that is temporary or for the purpose of finding a new home for the dog or cat and that takes place on premises on which the care is being provided to no more than:

  • 5 dogs or animal adult equivalent dogs or
  • 5 cats or animal adult equivalent cats or
  • a combination of 5 dogs and cats or animal adult equivalent dogs and cats.

These are in addition to your own pets.

An adult equivalent is:

  • a dog or cat 16 weeks or older
  • a litter of puppies/kittens between 8 and 16 weeks of age
  • a mother and her litter up to the age of 8 weeks.

This Act recognises the integral role foster carers, community foster care networks, and rescue organisations play in the management of lost, stray and abandoned dogs and cats in the Victorian community. The Act creates a voluntary enrolment scheme for individual foster carers.

Under current Victorian law, foster carers are required to register all animals (over three months of age) housed at their premises with the local council; even if the animal is only with them temporarily.

Registration with Council as a foster carer is not compulsory, however, to obtain the reduced registration rate for cats and dogs in their care, foster carers must register and take part in the scheme. Foster carers not registered with Council will be required to register any dogs or cats over the age of three months of age at the applicable registration rate