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Animal Education & Control
~ Whakaritenga kararehe

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Dog Owners

Dog Owners need to consider a few things when having a dog. Below you can find information about dog owners responsibilities.

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Selected Dog Owners

If you are a responsible dog owner then Council wants to reward YOU!

As a way to encourage our community to take good care of their dogs and be responsible owners, Council has created a Selected Dog Owner Policy.

This policy will reward RESPONSIBLE dog owners, who are complying with Council’s Dog Control Policy and Dog Control Bylaw, with a discounted registration fee of 12.5% ON TOP of the early payment discount set in Council’s fees and charges.

To become a “Selected Owner”, Council has several requirements that you must meet. These include:

  • your dog being microchipped
  • ensuring your dog registration is always paid before August 31 of each year
  • history proving good dog ownership
  • no record of impounding or infringements
  • if you have more than two dogs on the property you must have a permit.

Owners with dogs registered as Class S (standard) or Class M (menacing) can apply for this additional discount if they meet the requirements.

There is no cost to apply for this reward, but applications need to be received by May 31 of this year.

Please click on the button below to apply online. If you would like to complete a paper application form please download the pdf file from the related documents section.

Apply to be a selected owner

Three or more dogs on your property?

Under Section 4 of the Dog Control Bylaw in an urban situation you cannot keep more than two (2) dogs over the age of three months unless you obtain a permit from the Council (with the exception of dogs registered as Working Dogs or Disability Assist Dogs).

To apply for a permit to keep three or more dogs on your property please click on the button below. If you would like to complete a paper application form please download the pdf file from the related documents section.

Apply for a permit


All new puppies need to be microchipped within two months of when they are registered.

Farm dogs used mainly for herding and driving stock are exempt from microchipping.

You will also need to microchip your dog if:

  • you are registering your dog in New Zealand for the first time (this mainly applies to puppies)
  • your dog is classified as dangerous
  • your dog is classified as menacing
  • your unregistered dog is impounded for the first time from 1 July 2006
  • your registered dog has been impounded for the second time from 1 July 2006.

Microchipping has been introduced by Parliament to make it easier to track down dogs that get lost and to identify dangerous dogs.

Microchipping services are provided by vets.

Failure to microchip your dog if it falls into one of the microchipping categories could result in prosecution and a $3,000 fine.

Impounded Dogs

Once an impounded dog has been held for 8 days and not claimed by its owner, it then becomes the property of the Wairoa District Council.

Note: Proof of ownership is required and payment made before release of any dog.

Change of Ownership

On change of ownership, both the previous and new owner must give 14 days notice in writing to Wairoa District Council. The new owner must also complete a registration form.

Change of Address

If you move to another Council district, you have 14 days to notify both authorities of your new address.

Carry a Leash

Even when exercising your dog in an off leash area or Dog Exercise Area you are required to carry a leash with you.

For more information about on and off lead areas please click here.

Dog Tags

Every dog must wear the registration tag provided at registration time. Replacement tags are provided at a cost; proof of registration must be provided.

Control of Dog on Dog Owner's Property

An important change was made to the Dog Control Act in 2003. Dog owners are required to keep their dogs under adequate control on their own property.

The dog owner must ensure that either;

  • the dog is under the direct control of a person or
  • the dog is confined in a manner so that the dog cannot freely leave the property.

Being under direct control means being with the dog. It does not mean being inside or in the back yard when the dog is in the unfenced front yard. Confined normally means behind an adequate fence or in a run or cage. Animal Control Officers may now enter private property and seize and impound dogs that are freely able to leave their property

In addition, dog owners are liable for a $300 infringement fine.

De-sexing your dog - A humane responsibility

De-sexing your dog will help reduce your dog's urge to roam around the neighbourhood and will prevent the possibility of unwanted litters.

Like to Know More About Dogs?

Officers from the Wairoa District Council Animal Control Tean are available for group presentations.

Topics include:

  • Safety around dogs.
  • Care and responsibility for your dog.
  • Territorial aggression.
  • The Dog Control Act and Council's Bylaws and Policy.

Our Education Officer is also available to go out to Schools to present an in depth course aimed at children, in line with material supplied by the Department of Internal Affairs and other relevant visual presentations and hand-outs that have been made available to us.


For more information please contact the Wairoa District Council.

+64 6 838 7309

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While every endeavour has been taken by the Wairoa District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Wairoa District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Wairoa District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Wairoa District Council information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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