Registering your dog
Dog owners have an obligation to register all dogs over the age of three months by 31 July each year.
The registration year runs from 1 July to 30 June the following year. The full fee must be paid by 31 July when penalties will come in to effect. See note above.
Failure to register your dog could result in an infringement fine (see Fees and Charges) and/or court fine under the Dog Control Amendment Act 2003. There is no registration charge for assistance dogs registered as a Seeing Eye Dog and/or Hearing Ear Dog.
If you are a dog owner, that has not paid your dog registration in full or has defaulted on your agreed weekly payments, you will receive an Infringement for Failing to Register a dog. Please understand that if you remain non-compliant and your Infringement has gone through the court system, Compliance Officers are then obliged to seize your dog(s) and impound it/them until the balance of the dog registration is paid in full. You, as the owner of that dog will incur a seizure fee and daily sustenance fees.
NOTE, failure to pay your dog registration in full every year will result in enforcement measures. If you are having difficulty in getting the money together please ring our customer service team who will go through some helpful alternatives with you. We are here to help, and with your cooperation we are happy to find a solution.
For registration fees, please click here. You are welcome to pay by cash at the counter of the Council offices in Putaruru and Tokoroa or The Dog in Tirau or via internet banking payment options (listed on the reverse of the registration form).
Council supports regular automatic payments to make dog registration easier to manage. Please come and speak to our Customer Service Officers about setting up an automatic payment.
If you move house within the District, you need to notify Council by phone or in writing. If you move to another District, you need to notify the South Waikato District Council and the council for the District you are moving to. Registration tags are easily swapped between different Districts at no additional charge to you as an owner. Failure to advise local authorities in writing or phone of a change of address and registration details can result in a court fine (see Fees and Charges).
Selected Owners Policy
In an effort to encourage people to take really good care of their dogs and be highly responsible dog owners, Council has a Selected Owner Policy. Council regards this policy as a privilege and not a right. As a result, the fees for this category are substantially lower than the standard fee.
A number of criteria apply:
- You are required to apply on the standard form available from the South Waikato District Council 0ffices.
- You are required to have a suitably fenced property.
- You must have had no validated complaints regarding your dog(s) for the 12 months prior to your application. (ie, no barking, aggression or wandering complaints, or impounding)
- You must not have had a prosecution or infringement for a dog-related offence for the 24-month period prior to your application.
- Your dog registration fees must be paid in full prior to 1 August* each year. *See COVID note.
- You will be asked to sign a declaration form stating that you understand and agree to comply with these criteria.
A registered pig-hunter will not lose his SOP status, should his/her dog(s) be impounded after being caught in the forests during the prescribed hunting season. However, normal retrieval fees would be required.
Failing to comply with any of the above may result in your Selected Owner Policy licence being revoked.
You must apply to Council for an SOP inspection of your property prior to 31 May* each year so that we are able to set the appropriate fees to all dog owner files before the fee goes onto your account and are posted out to you. So make it a priority and apply now. *See COVID note.
For the SOP application form, please visit our forms page here.
New microchip laws came into effect on 1 July 2006. All dogs first registered on or after 01 July 2006 need to be chipped. Working dogs are exempt from micro-chipping by law. Council's Compliance Officers are available to microchip your dog for a small fee (see Fees and Charges). Contact Council to make an appointment. For Council contact details please go to this link.
This is a simple procedure taking only minutes and is crucial if your dog gets lost or stolen. Many dogs have been returned to their owners after long periods of time because a Compliance Officer or Veterinarian has been able to locate an owner through the owners details attached to the microchip. Microchips inserted in animals are not are not loaded with a GPS, they simply have a sequence of numbers that when put into the National Dog Database will reveal the owner's contact details and a description of the dog.
If a registered dog dies, a refund will be made on request:
- where the dog dies before the start of the registration year, the full fee will be refunded
- where the dog dies during the year, one twelfth of the annual fee for each complete month remaining after the date of the application.