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  • Animal registrations expire on 10 April 2024. Renewal notices are due to be sent out in March. If owner or pet details have changed (e.g. address, desexed), contact us on 9240 1111 or Please provide your pet's animal ID or tag number.

Keeping multiple pets

In Merri-bek, we want to make sure all pets are cared for and have enough room in the homes they live in. This is why we keep track of the number of pets you have. 

What are the maximum number of animals I can have without a permit? 

You will need an excess animal permit if you have more than the number of animals in this table.

You do not need an excess animal permit for fish.

Type of animal    

Maximum allowed in a premises (other than a flat, unit, apartment or townhouse)

Maximum allowed in a flat, unit, apartment or townhouse

Dogs (over 3 months old)



Cats (over 3 months old)



Chickens (hens)



Domestic birds – caged non-poultry



Pigeons (non-racing)



Pigeons (racing)






Guinea pigs, rabbits, rats or mice

4 of one species or 6 in total

2 of one species or 4 in total

What if I want to have more cats or dogs?

If you want more than the number of allowed dogs or cats, you need to apply for the permit before you get the dogs or cats.

If you do not follow the rules on your permit, you may be fined.

If you already have an Excess Animal Permit approved and would like to add more animals that are not covered by the existing Excess Animal Permit, a new application must be submitted and new permit fee paid. 

How to apply for an excess animal permit 

An excess animal permit costs $67.80. Excess animal permits are valid for 5 years, unless you register additional animals after the first permit is approved or move to a new property.

You can apply for an excess animal permit by:

After you apply, we may contact you to arrange a time for an Animal Management Officer to visit your home. This is so we can make sure:

  • that your home is safe and the right size for the number of animals you applied for
  • that the pets currently living at your home are safe and cared for

After we visit, we will let you know if your application has been approved. If it is approved, we will send you an invoice if you didn't apply online so you can pay the fee.

Paying your excess animal invoice

  1. Pay an invoice online by Visa or MasterCard.
  2. You need the 'Application number' located on your invoice.

You can register as a user and sign in to Council Online Services to access My Accounts. As a registered user, you can keep track of requests and applications on any device and don't need to re-enter your personal information.

Pay your invoice

  • You can pay your renewal fee with a Visa or MasterCard over the phone 24 hours a day using Council's secure automated system.

    To make this payment you need to:

    1. Phone 9240 1111 and press 1 to make a payment. Then press 7 to pay 'licencing tax invoices' and follow the voice prompts.
    2. Provide the ‘Application number' located on your invoice or renewal notice and your Visa or MasterCard details.
  • To pay your invoice by post you need to:

    1. Separate the payment slip at the bottom of your invoice or renewal notice and mail it with your cheque or money order to Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Brunswick 3056, before the due date.
    2. Make the cheque or money order payable to ‘Merri-bek City Council’ and cross it 'Not negotiable'. Do not include cash in the mail.

    We do not provide a receipt for payments received by mail. Please keep the top section of the notice for your records.

  • You can pay your business renewal fee in person by bringing your notice to one of our Council Customer Service Centres before the due date. The locations of these centres are on our Contact us page.

    You can pay by Visa or MasterCard, EFTPOS, cheque, money order and cash. The minimum payment for all card transactions is $10 and there is no cash out facility.