Lost dogs in Canberra will hopefully be reunited with their owners much quicker under a new ACT law that will require owners to register the details of their pets annually.
The new law, which passed the Assembly on Thursday, will make way for the government's new digital dog database.
The database will house the details of each dog in the territory and each year owners will have to update the system with the current details of the dog, including who the owner is and where they live.
ACT City Services Minister Chris Steel said about 95 per cent of dogs found roaming by domestic animal services had details that were out-of-date, and the new system would help to combat this.
"This new registration system combined with a digital dog database will provide up to date contact information about dog owners so that we can return as quickly as possible lost pets to their owners," he said.
The new law will come into effect on July 1.
Once it's in effect owners will receive an annual registration reminder, through either mail, text or email, at least 14 days before the renewal date. For dogs already registered, the annual database renewal will not cost extra.
People who do not comply with the annual registration could face a $150 fine.
The law passed the Assembly with support from the Canberra Liberals, however, opposition spokeswoman on city services Nicole Lawder did question whether the government needed to introduce another system.
"The fines do seem a little excessive but I am understanding of the reasons why we are reverting to an annual registration," she said.
"It is important that we do have up-to-date details but I do wonder whether the government would be able to get those details in some other way.
"The government generally knows where people are living rather than introducing yet another system for the registration of these dogs."
RSPCA ACT chief executive Michelle Robertson welcomed the new law but said there were challenges in making sure the community followed the regulations.
"I think we're very lucky in the ACT, we've got a very progressive set of animal welfare laws but we have a long was to go as a community ... we need to live those laws," she said.
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