Dog Owner Responsibilities
This page explains dog owner responsibilities under the Dog Control Act 1996.
Dogs must be registered
All dogs must be registered on or before 1 July every year, or when they turn 3 months of age.
Failure to do so may result in penalty fee being added to your registration fees and you may also incurr a $300 infringement fine.
Your dog may also be siezed and impounded for failure to register or prosecuted under the Dog Control Act 1996.
Please refer to the Dog Registration Fees on the link listed below.
Definition of dog owner
You are a dog owner under the Dog Control Act 1996 if you are the person who:
Actually owns the dog; or
Who has a dog in your possession, whether the dog is at large or in confinement, except where you have the dog for the sole purpose of restoring it to its owner; or
The parent or guardian of a person under the age of 16 years who owns the dog.
Dog owners have responsibilities under the legislation
Under the Dog Control Act 1996, the obligations imposed on dog owners are to ensure:
- that the dog is registered in accordance with the Dog Control Act 1996, and that the Council is promptly notified of any change of address or ownership of the dog;
- that the dog is kept under control at all times;
- that the dog receives proper care and attention and is supplied with proper and sufficient food, water and shelter;
- that the dog receives adequate exercise;
- they take all reasonable steps to ensure that the dog does not cause a nuisance to any other person, whether by persistent and loud barking or howling or by any other means;
- they take all reasonable steps to ensure that the dog does not injure, endanger, intimidate, or otherwise cause distress to any person;
- they take all reasonable steps to ensure that the dog does not injure, endanger, or cause distress to any stock, poultry, domestic animal, or protected wildlife;
- they take all reasonable steps to ensure that the dog does not damage or endanger any property belonging to any other person;
- they comply with the requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996 and of all regulations and bylaws made under this Act.
When you take your dog out in any public place, land or premises, you must remove and properly dispose of all faecal matter or other fouling deposited by your dog.
Change of ownership of a dog
Where the ownership of a dog is changed, any registration of the dog shall continue in force, but the previous owner and the new owner shall each within 14 days give written notice to the relevant Council(s) of any change of ownership and of the residential address of the new owner and the address at which the dog will be kept.
What to do if your dog has been impounded
If your dog has been impounded it can be uplifted from the pound when all outstanding fees have been paid (i.e. registration fees, micro-chipping fees, impound fees and sustanance fee).
To find out if your dog has been impounded and any fees incurred please phone the Porirua City Council Animal Control Centre, Ph: 04 237 5089. The Animal Control Centre is open 8am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, 9am - 10am, Saturday and 9am - 9:30am, Sunday.
Protected areas and wildlife conservation information
For information on protected areas and wildlife conservation, check the link to the Department of Conservation website below.
What to do if your dog has died or has been put down
Council should be notified if your dog has died.
If you require a refund for the remainder of the registration year take your current dog registration tag and some formal proof of death (veterinarian euthanasia certificate etc) with you to assist the process. This will be calculated at the time you make the notification.
If your dog has been destroyed under a court order you must produce a certificate from a veterinarian surgeon, Animal Control Officer or Ranger confirming the dog has been destroyed.
Links to more information
Porirua City Council links: