Lost animals

Council will make every effort to return a pet dog or cat to its owner if the animal is microchipped and has a current registration prior to transferring to the Animal Management Centre.

Council may seize dogs and cats under certain circumstances as we are the local impounding authority under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

See lost animals currently at the Animal Management Centre

What happens to my pet if it is seized?

We give stray dogs and cats a health check to see whether they need any treatment and an identification and registration check to find the owner's contact details.

If your animal is microchipped or has a tag with a name, address or phone number, we will contact you to let you know that your pet has been taken to Council's Animal Management Centre and how to reclaim them. We mail a letter to the last known contact obtained from microchipping or registration details. We will also email and attempt to make phone contact where these details are available. 

Within 24 hours of impounding we will upload pictures, a written description and the time and place the animal was seized, to Council’s lost pets listing webpage.  We also promote this page from time to time on Council’s social media channels. 

Time limits

Animals with an identifiable owner will be kept for a maximum of 14 working days.

Unidentified animals will be kept for a maximum of 7 working days.

Rehoming unclaimed pets

Council will partner with approved rehoming organisations to rehome unclaimed animals.  

Although the RSPCA ceased running the impounding service on 20 March, the RSPCA still offer pets for adoption

If you find a stray pet

Report stray dogs to Council and we can send our rangers to pick them up.

Our rangers do not collect stray cats, but we do accept them at the centre. Contact Council to make an appointment to take a stray cat to the centre. 

To surrender your pet

We do not accept dogs or cats being surrendered by their owners. Owners who want to surrender their animal should contact the RSPCA Coffs Harbour.  

How to claim your pet

Step 1.Pay the fees

You will need to pay a fee before we can release your pet from the centre. 

There is a minimum fee for 2 days impounding with an additional daily fee for the third and any subsequent days held. Fees are calculated from the impounding date to the proposed release date.

To find the current fees, type 'animals' into the search box of our Fees and Charges webpage

Additional fees will apply if the animal requires microchipping and lifetime registration. See the NSW Government's current registration fees

If you have difficulty paying you can submit an application to us under our Financial Hardship Policy. The Hardship Application form is available from Council's Customer Service Centre

Fees can only be paid at Council's Customer Service Centre 

Step 2.Call for an appointment

Once you have paid the fees and un-registered pets have been registered and microchipped, you can then contact Council to make an appointment to pick up your animal. 

To make an appointment time call Council on 02 6648 4000

The location of the Animal Management Centre will be provided once an appointment for collection has been arranged. 

Step 3.Bring proof of ownership

Animals can only be returned to the owner in person or an appointed agent. 

You will need to provide personal identification that matches the ownership information recorded in the animal’s registration and microchip details. 

If your animal is not microchipped or registered, you will need to provide a statutory declaration confirming your ownership claim before we can release your pet. Statutory declarations can be obtained and completed at Council's Customer Service Centre