Responsible dog ownership

As a dog owner it is your responsibility to:

  • ensure your dog is registered
  • ensure your dog is microchipped
  • provide your dog with exercise, shelter, food and clean water
  • keep your dog under control at all times
  • always have your dog on a leash in public places, unless you are in a designated off-leash exercise area
  • always supervise your dog around young children and/or strangers.

Our animal management staff can help you to be aware of your responsibilities as a dog owner and to understand problem behaviour in dogs.

If you want advice on any aspect of dog ownership contact us or the SPCA on 09 438 9161.

Also see:

By desexing your dog you can take an active role in eliminating the cycle of unwanted births and preventing the needless suffering and death of homeless pets.

Registration fees are also less for desexed pets.

Benefits of desexing your pet

Desexed pets generally live longer, are healthier and are less likely to wander, fight and get lost or injured.

Other benefits include:

  • a reduced risk of diseases such as cancer and diseases of the reproductive organs
  • lessening of antisocial behaviour such as spraying indoors
  • a reduction in certain aggressive tendencies in male dogs.

Owners are legally responsible for cleaning up after their dogs on any property that’s not their own.

This means carrying a plastic bag whenever you’re in public with your dog. Dog waste bags are available at Council offices or the Pound in Kioreroa Road.

Failure to clean up after your dog could result in a $300 fine. 

If you find an injured animal, please contact the SPCA or Council. Be ready to provide details of the animal and its precise location, together with your contact details.

It is important that injured animals receive treatment quickly. Other than emergency first aid, you should never attempt to treat an animal yourself.

If you find an animal that has been injured, it is important to remember the following points:

  • Approach an injured animal carefully. Fear and pain can induce aggressive and unpredictable behaviour, even in your own pet.
  • Call for professional assistance as soon as you have assessed the situation.
  • Where possible and safe to do so, confine the animal and/or stay with it, keeping it quiet, still and warm.
  • If the animal is badly hurt, do not try to move it unless it is in a dangerous place such as on a busy road. Do not panic. Always put your own safety first.
  • If you need to move a badly injured animal, use a blanket to form a stretcher. You can also use a lead as a temporary muzzle to prevent being bitten.
  • Do not attempt to feed or give water to an injured animal.

Remember that the best way you can help an injured animal is to call for professional help immediately.

Dogs that are roaming or off leash can:

  • intimidate and harm people and animals
  • create health and hygiene problems by fouling in public and scattering rubbish
  • cause traffic hazards.

If a dog has shown itself to be menacing or dangerous, we may take the following actions under the Dog Control Act:

  • issue a warning or infringement notice
  • file a prosecution (if the offence or harm is significant)
  • classify the owner as probationary or disqualify them from ownership
  • classify the dog as dangerous or menacing
  • impound the dog pending the court decision.

Our Dog Management Policy and Dog Management Bylaw aim to achieve a balance between the control of dogs and recognition of the health benefits of dog ownership.

Our policy objectives are to:

  • minimise danger, distress and nuisance to the community
  • avoid the inherent danger in allowing dogs to have uncontrolled access to public places where children go (whether or not the children are accompanied by adults)
  • enable the public (including families) to use streets and public amenities without fear of attack or intimidation by dogs
  • recognise the exercise and recreation needs of dogs and their owners
  • protect kiwi and other indigenous wildlife.

Dog Management Bylaw.

The Dog Control Act places responsibility on dog owners to look after and control their dog.

This means ensuring that your dog:

  • receives the right care and attention
  • is supplied with proper and sufficient food, water and shelter at all times.
  • receives adequate exercise
  • be controlled on private property within physical limits (fencing, kennels, indoors), or by command and on a lead in all public areas.