Foster care

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What is foster care?

Under Section 3 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994, 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:

 -five dogs or animal adult equivalent dogs: or

-five cats or animal adult equivalent cats; or

-a combination of five dogs and cats or animal adult equivalent dogs and cats.


 Voluntary Foster Carer Registration

Individual foster carers may apply to their local council to be a registered foster carer as part of a voluntary scheme, with registration valid for one year. In accordance with section 68H of the Domestic Animals Act 1994, Council may charge a fee to register foster carers in the scheme. Voluntarily registered foster carers will receive:

-a reduced registration rate of no more than $8 for each dog they foster during the first 12 months the dog is in their care;

-a reduced registration rate of no more than $8 for each cat they foster during the first 12 months the cat is in their care; and

-the ability to supply dogs six months of age or older, and cats eight weeks of age or older to pet shops to enhance foster animal exposure and sale opportunities.


Apply to be a foster carer

To apply for the voluntary foster care scheme please complete the foster carer application form(PDF, 305KB) and submit it to Council.  If approval is granted to join the scheme, council will issue you with a certificate that you will need to show pet shops to demonstrate that you are an approved source and are eligible to supply cats and dogs.


Council is also looking for foster carers for pound animals that require foster care for juvenile, veterinary or behavioural rehabilitation reasons or for short term relief. These animals are returned to the pound after the fostering period to be prepared for re-homing. 

 Please contact us if you are interested.


Keeping of animal’s permit

Council sets limitations on the number of animals that you can house at your premises.  A Keeping of Animal permit is required if you keep more than two dogs and/or two cats.  In addition, if you have more than five foster animals you will need to apply to be an animal shelter, regardless of how many animal’s council permits.

For further information, please see the State Government’s Information for Victorian dog and cat community foster care networks and rescue groups or visit

for fact sheets about the voluntary scheme.



 The information contained on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge with the information available at the time and should only be used as a guide. Owners of lost or impounded animals are advised to contact us directly for assistance.