COVIT-19

Looking after animals and pets – metropolitan Melbourne

Restrictions easing from 11:59pm 27 October 2020

From 11:59pm Tuesday 27 October 2020 some restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria are easing. See the Premier’s metropolitan statement and the regional Victoria roadmap summary for details. This page will be updated as more information is made available.

Looking after animals and pets

Can I take my animal to the vet?

Yes, you can take an animal to the vet if there is a genuine animal welfare issue.

You should stay close to home where possible, but you may travel beyond 25km to the nearest provider.

You should check in with your veterinary clinic ahead of your appointment as clinics are operating with new rules to ensure they meet physical distancing requirements. You are also required to wear a face mask.

If you are unwell, or are in quarantine or isolation, contact your veterinary practitioner by phone for advice on what to do to ensure your animal gets the care it needs. You must not leave home.

Can I leave home to pick up a new pet?

Yes. You can leave your home to collect a pet you have already purchased. If you are adopting from an animal shelter or pound, you are not required to have already purchased your pet.

Once you collect your pet, you must return home immediately afterwards. Animal shelters and pounds are open by appointment only. You should contact the location to arrange an appointment and ensure you can follow their processes for reducing the risk of transmitting coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you are picking up a pet you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face mask.

You may travel more than 25km from your home to collect a pet, but the travel cannot be unreasonable. As with other necessary goods, it must be the closest practical location.

Can I leave home to care for animals located on property other than my place of residence?

Yes, including on property greater than 25km from your usual residence, but you should limit travel where you can.

If you need to leave home to attend to your animals, the restrictions travel with you and so you need to abide by the same rules as if you were at home. You should wear a mask and practise good hygiene, including washing and sanitising hands before and after handling animals and their equipment, bedding or food.

I live in metropolitan Melbourne. Can I travel more than 25km from home to care for animals and/or bees or feed livestock located on property other than my place of residence?

Yes, you can leave home to care for your animals or bees, if it is necessary to do so and you are not able to make alternative arrangements. This includes travelling beyond 25km from home or leaving metropolitan Melbourne for this purpose. Please be mindful that you may be required to provide evidence (about your animals/insects and their location) for leaving restricted areas as police are conducting spot checks.

If you need to leave home to attend to your animals or bees, the restrictions travel with you and so you need to abide by the same rules as if you were at home. You should wear a face mask and practise good hygiene, including washing and sanitising hands before and after handling animals and their equipment, bedding or food.

Can I walk someone else’s dog?

Walking pets that you do not live with is only permitted where there is a genuine animal welfare concern and the owner is physically unable to complete these activities themselves.

I am a dog walker in metropolitan Melbourne, can I continue my work?

No, dog walkers cannot operate. If a pet’s welfare is impacted due to an urgent requirement for walking, the owner should consult with a veterinarian.

Can I look for my lost pet at the council animal shelter or pound?

If you have lost a pet, first call your council to check and if your pet is there, follow their instructions to arrange for its return.

If your pet is in a pound outside of metropolitan Melbourne, you can go and collect it, however the metropolitan Melbourne restrictions travel with you, and so you need to abide by the same rules as if you were at home (i.e. Second Step to easing restrictions apply to you).

Check the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector guidance.

Can I take or surrender a pet to a council animal shelter or pound?

Yes, under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, council animal shelters and pounds must accept surrendered animals.

If you have found a lost pet or need to surrender a pet, first call your council and follow their instructions.

Can I still call wildlife rescue?

Yes. Wildlife rescue services continue to operate under current restrictions for emergency rescue, care and transport of injured wildlife.

Can wildlife rescue and care networks continue to operate?

Yes. The emergency rescue, care and transport of injured wildlife can continue. If you are conducting wildlife rescue or care you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others and practice good hygiene, including washing your hands regularly. You are also required to wear a face mask.

Can pet rescue, rehoming groups and community foster care networks continue to operate?

Yes, pet rescue, rehoming groups and community foster care networks can continue to operate with some limitations.

Pets can still be transported to and from a place of care, including to a foster carer, if there is a genuine animal welfare issue. In-person prospective home inspections or meet and greets are not permitted. Virtual home inspections or meet and greets may provide a useful alternative.

For those people undertaking activities on behalf of your organisation outside of their homes, the organisation must issue a permitted worker permit.

Workplaces that remain open must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that is regularly updated (unless there are fewer than five workers at the work premises).

Workplaces that remain open must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place that is regularly updated.

Are pet breeder services allowed to deliver?

Yes, pets that have been purchased can be delivered to their new home. You must discuss the requirements for the new pet via video or phone prior to the delivery, to minimise the time the hand-over takes. The person delivering the pet must have a Permitted Worker Permit to be able to carry out the delivery.

Always maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and other people when delivering a pet and wear a face mask.

When will pet grooming open?

Retail pet groomers are permitted to provide contactless service to their clients if there is an animal welfare need. From 11:59pm on Sunday 18 October 2020, mobile pet grooming services or businesses that operate from residential properties or a permitted retail venue can provide a contactless service to their clients.

Pet owners can drop off their pets to the venue, and then pick them up when the service is completed, similar to other forms of “click and collect” services.

When can mobile pet grooming resume?

From 11:59pm on Sunday 18 October 2020, mobile pet grooming services or businesses that operate from residential properties or a permitted retail venue can provide a contactless service to their clients.

Can I use a pet grooming service in regional Victoria if it’s the one I normally use and the one that’s closest to me?

You can travel into regional Victoria to use a pet grooming service at a retail store if it is your nearest provider. This does not include mobile pet grooming services or businesses that operate on residential properties. You should only travel beyond 25km or to regional Victoria if you need to use a pet grooming service for animal welfare reasons.

There isn’t a pet grooming service within 25km of my home, what should I do?

For some people the nearest pet grooming services will be more than 25km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 25km to the nearest provider.