What is foster care?
Under section 3 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994, foster care means 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;
- five cats or animal equivalent cats; or
- a combination of five dogs and cats or animal adult equivalent dogs and cats.
What is the voluntary foster care scheme?
Individual foster carers may apply to 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:
- reduced registration fees - see the Animal Registration page for more information
- the ability to supply dogs six months of age or older, and cats eight weeks of age or older to pet shops as of 1 July 2018 to enhance foster animal exposure and sale opportunities.
To apply to be a voluntary foster carer under this scheme, please completed the below application and submit to Council for assessment. 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.
Are there other requirements for foster carers?
Council sets limitations on the number of animals you can house at your premises. You may need to apply to Council for an excess/multiple animal permit and/or planning permit. In addition, if you have more than five foster animals you will need to apply to be an animal shelter, regardless of how many animals your council permits.
For further information, please see the State Government’s Guide for Victorian dog and cat community foster care networks and rescue groups or visit Agriculture Victoria for fact sheets about the voluntary scheme.