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We understand... you and your dog you and your cat now is the time to register your dog desexing cats leads to less unwanted kittens that every dog can bite that Good owners lead to good dogs that good cats have purrfect owners

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Welcoming a furry friend this Christmas? Get the facts.

Since 1 July this year South Australians who sell a dog or cat must be registered as a breeder at Dogs and Cats Online. Once registered they are issued a Breeder Registration Number for use in advertisements – including ads on Facebook, GumTree or the local paper.

Dog and Cat Management Board Chair, Dr Felicity-ann Lewis said this new law is designed to weed out unscrupulous breeders and sellers from the industry.

"Buying from a registered breeder means new owners will have a record of who bred their dog or cat," Dr Lewis said.

"Gone are the days where it is accepted practice to buy a dog from the boot of a car from an unknown person in a carpark.

"All dogs and cats must be microchipped prior to being sold, and dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed by six months of age.

"Breeders and sellers must also follow the RSPCA enforced South Australian minimum breeding standards to ensure the health and welfare of pets.

"The standards target puppy farms and people who put profits before the welfare of animals."

Potential buyers are encouraged to verify a Breeder Registration Number by typing it in Dogs and Cats Online.

Dr Lewis added if you are taking holidays this Christmas, the downtime may be right for adopting a new pet – but always choose a pet that is right for you, and is not purchased on impulse.

"Do your breed research, determine a suitable size, temperament, coat type and exercise requirements, so the pet is the best fit for your home and family," Dr Lewis said.

"A pet can be the best gift in the world, but pick your new family member personally and thoughtfully.

"Research has shown that matching pet and owner characteristics leads to greater satisfaction for owners, and a much lower rate of surrender or abandonment."

You can report any advertisements without a valid Breeder Registration Number or contact details to the Dog and Cat Management Board or your local council for investigation.