Victorians' furry, feathered and scaly friends will be the focus of the state's first pet census, which will gather crucial information about owners and their beloved companions.
The Andrews government on Wednesday announced more than $610,000 for the survey to be held next year.
Under Victoria's current system it is up to local governments to collect and store most information about pet ownership and registration, meaning there is a lack of up-to-date data that is reliable and statewide.
The census, slated to go ahead online next year, will ask questions about the pet owners and their animals, as well as pet health, how much it costs to take care of a pet, and the social and wellbeing impacts of pet ownership.
"We are delivering the state's first ever pet census to better understand the important role pets play in the lives of Victorians," Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas said.
"The pet census will help us ensure we're best supporting our furry friends and their owners with the services they need."
More Victorians are welcoming pets into their homes than ever, and pet ownership rates nationwide have increased by about eight per cent in the past two years, to 69 per cent.
RSPCA Victoria's chief executive Dr Liz Walker backed the pet census, which comes after the state government announced $18.6 million to support animal care and protection in the budget earlier this month.
"Pets matter to people, so we support the implementation of a pet census knowing it will provide vital data to support targeted initiatives that will help Victorians better care for their pets," Dr Walker said.
Australian Associated Press
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