Important information for anyone looking to sell or rehome a cat or dog

Important information for anyone looking to sell or rehome a cat or dog

From 1 July 2019, as part of an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, every individual or organisation looking to sell or rehome a cat or dog must list an approved identification number in the advertisement.

These changes will help the public make better informed choices about their pets.

What is an identification number?

For both individuals and organisations, identification numbers can include:

  • Microchip number
  • Breeder identification number
  • Rehoming organisation number (RON)

As an approved rehoming organisation, RSPCA NSW will advertise with an RON, as issued by the local government.

For soon-to-be owners, these numbers are searchable on the NSW Pet Registry database.

Advertisements include, but are not limited to, those on websites, Gumtree, Facebook, Instagram, as well as on posters and newspapers.

We’re sure you’ve got lots of questions about the changes, so we gave a crack at answering them below.

I want to adopt or buy an animal! What should I look out for?

When you’re browsing through advertisements of cats or dogs, keep an eye out for one of the above identification numbers. Then, use the NSW Pet Registry to look up the number and do some research on the breeder or individual. On the registry page, you can find out information on the animal including their breed, sex, age and whether or not they’re desexed.

Uh oh. This person or organisation doesn’t have an identification number. What do I do?

You can fill out this form on our website to report a breach of this requirement. Here, you’ll be able to submit your report, along with images of the advertisement. Just like all cruelty reports, this will be sent through to the relevant teams to lodge accordingly.

What are the penalties for not abiding by this new amendment?

From 1 July 2019, it will be an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 to fail to provide an identification number in advertisements selling or rehoming companion animals.

Individuals or organisations who fail to comply can be issued an immediate fine of $330, with a maximum penalty of $5,500 in court.

I want to sell or rehome an animal! How do I get an identification number?

Rehoming Blog 5

Microchip number: In NSW, all cats and dogs (excluding those exempt) are required to have a microchip by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away. You can get your pet microchipped at your local veterinarian.

Breeder identification number: For breeders, identification numbers are free and available through the NSW Pet Registry. A breeder must acquire a breeder identification number before selling or giving away a cat or dog.

Rehoming organisation number: Rehoming Organisation Numbers (RON) are issued to local councils, pounds, shelters and other approved rehoming organisations.

Do working dogs count under this new requirement?

Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, some working dogs are not required to be microchipped and therefore do not need to comply with this advertising requirement.

Please refer to the Companion Animals Act 1998 for more information on what dogs do and don’t count under this exception.

What about racing Greyhounds?

If a Greyhound racing participant wants to rehome or sell a Greyhound they own, they must provide a microchip number or a registered participant number on the advertisement.

What about animals outside NSW?

An identification number doesn’t have to be provided on animals advertised in states outside of New South Wales unless the state it’s advertised in also has requirements about listing identification numbers.

Read more or report an animal identification breach here.