With less than a week to go before new state laws around dog and cat ownership and breeding take effect, RSPCA South Australia has announced an initiative to help dog and cat owners comply with them.
The laws and rules include:
- Mandatory microchipping of all cats and dogs by three months of age
- Desexing of dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018 by six months of age
- New rules for breeders who sell dogs and cats
- Introduction of a statewide database, called Dogs and Cats Online (DACO)
These new laws will simplify the dog registration process, make it easier to reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners, help identify and put a stop to puppy farms and reduce the number of unplanned litters.
Welcoming the new laws, RSPCA South Australia is offering pet owners the chance to have their animals desexed and/or microchipped free of charge, by entering an online lottery.
The Lonsdale shelter’s veterinary team will desex 20 cats and 20 dogs, with the opportunity for winners to also have their animals microchipped.
To ensure animals are in healthy condition, a pre-operation check-up a few days prior to the procedure will also be provided.
Lottery winners will be drawn next Wednesday, July 4.
Winning owners will be required to book their animals for a health check-up prior to surgery.
RSPCA South Australia’s Head of Animal Operations, Tim Charles, said the lottery celebrates a significant legal win for animal welfare.
“We’re really happy that these new laws will soon take effect,” Mr Charles said.
“The introduction of mandatory desexing has the potential to make a huge dent in the number of unwanted animals ended up in our animal shelters or being dumped.
“In particular, we’re hoping to see less unwanted cats – currently we have more than 300 in our care.”
While most dogs are microchipped, only 2% of the 4,200 cats cared for by RSPCA South Australia last year were microchipped, making it impossible to contact owners of stray cats.
“Mandatory microchipping should mean we can reunite more cats with their owners,” Mr Charles said.
He encouraged all pet owners to check with their local council that their animals’ microchip contact details are up to date.
To enter the lottery, go to www.rspcasa.org.au/microchipping-desexing-lottery.