Dog registrations open for 2021 - all you need to know

Published on 05 June 2021

An image showing a man walking a dog.

Dog owners have until 1 August to get an early payment discount on new registrations or their annual renewal. Notices for renewal will be delivered by post in late June 2021.

After you have received your dog registration form in the post and you have you animal ID number, you can renew your registration online.

Register your dog

What are dog registration fees used for?

It is all about safety and welfare. All of the money collected through dog fees and charges are used for dog-related services like picking up wandering dogs, investigating reported problems, running a dog pound, rehoming dogs and a range of other services.

Our four animal control officers respond to 4000 to 5000 calls a year. These services are funded collectively by all dog owners to help keep our community, native wildlife, pets and farm stock safe.

Why have fees increased?

We aim for dog-control to be 90% funded by dog owners, but it has been costing ratepayers more in recent times. Despite the cost over-runs we have seen increasing frequency and severity of dog-related problems, and our staff have not been able to keep up with problems.

This year’s registration fees have increased to resource our dog-control programme better, hire two new officers, and respond to more of the issues reported.

My dog doesn’t cause problems, why do I need to pay?

Paying a registration fee is not about the individual behaviour of your dog, it is about everyone who has a dog paying a share of the over-all cost of dog ownership in our District.

The services funded this way help to keep all pets safe, as well as livestock, wildlife and the community. The penalty for failing to register a dog is a $300 fine in addition to the late registration fee.

You could look at registration as a kind of compulsory insurance. As a registered dog owner you have the benefit of knowing that if your dog does wander and get picked up it will be sheltered safely, fed and looked after, and that we should be able to contact you because we have your information on record. You may still have to cover costs, but at least you will be reunited.

How much do people pay in other New Zealand regions?

With the early payment discount, our fees are around the middle / average annual fee of New Zealand councils. The top 10 highest prices in New Zealand are all above $100 to register a standard desexed dog, compared to Whangārei’s adjusted price of $86.

Are there any exceptions?

All dogs must be registered but the costs to register a working dog (eg a disability-assist dog or a herding dog used to drive stock) are lower. Desexed dogs are cheaper to register than dogs who have not been desexed.

Dogs that we have formally classified as “dangerous” need to pay higher registration fees. Classification of dangerous dogs is done on an individual basis and is not determined by breed.

Tagged as: