Owner Responsibilities

What dog owners are required to do

The Dog Control Act 1996 in conjunction with Council's Dog Control Bylaw requires dog owners to:

  • Ensure that your dog is registered on or before the age of three months.
  • Annual registration renewal is paid on or before 31 July each year.
  • Ensure that your dog wears a collar with a current registration tag affixed.
  • Notify the Council in writing of any change of address or ownership of a dog within 14 days.
  • Keep your dog under control at all times and ensure it does not attack any person or any other animal.
  • Ensure that your dog receives proper care and attention and that you supply your dog with adequate food, water, shelter and exercise.
  • Ensure that your dog is leashed when it is in a public place.
  • Pick up your dog faeces when this occurs outside your property.
  • Contain your dog if it has a contagious disease.
  • Take all responsible steps to ensure that the dog does not cause a nuisance to any other person whether by persistent and loud barking, howling, or by any other means.
  • Take all responsible steps to ensure that your dog does not injure, endanger, intimidate or otherwise cause distress to any person.
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure that your dog does not injure, endanger or cause distress to any stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife.
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure your dog does not damage or endanger any property belonging to another person.
  • Keep your dog confined to your property in such a manner that it can not freely leave your property, or ensure your dog is under the direct control of a person.
  • Ensure that if your dog is female and 'in season' and you choose to exercise it in a public place, that it is leashed and under the direct control of an adult.

Dog owners must keep their dogs under control at all times and ensure their dog receives proper care, attention, and exercise otherwise they may be seized or infringement notices may be issued. Dogs that attack persons or animals, or rush at vehicles can be destroyed, or classified as a dangerous or menacing dog. The owner of the dog will be liable for any damage caused by the attack.

For more information regarding dog ownership, please read the Dog Owner Handbook.

 Dog Owner Handbook (PDF, 699KB)

Microchipping your dog

A microchip carries a unique number in your dog. This is very similar to a supermarket barcode. A microchip is a transponder, which means it responds to a scanner. It is not a transmitter and has no power source.
The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin just forward of the shoulder blades.

Which dogs are required by law to be microchipped?

  • Dogs classified as dangerous or menacing.
  • Dogs impounded as unregistered or dogs impounded more than once.
  • Dogs registered for the first time after July 2006.

If my dog is not listed above, can I still get it microchipped?

  • Yes, there are many dogs already microchipped by caring owners. Many exotic or expensive animals are microchipped all over the world.
  • If a dog is lost, stolen or has escaped or strayed, it can easily be identified. If your dog is stolen, there is nowhere in New Zealand where it cannot be traced if it is scanned.
  • Microchipping will not replace dog registration. You will still have to register your dog every year.
  • Dogs exempt from microchipping are farm working dogs (defined as those that are kept solely or principally for herding or driving stock) and Police dogs.

Heat Stress and leaving pets in vehicles

When the weather warms up , so do the risks associated with leaving pets in vehicles , especially when the weather is warm.

It is not recommended that you leave a dog unattended in a vehicle at any time. However, in the event that you do, we would like to remind you of the following and to take precautions to ensure your dogs wellbeing and safety: 

  • Make the time your dog is left unattended in your car minimal.
  • Dogs stress easily and over heat in minutes.
  • Wind the windows down to allow air to circulate through the car and keep the window shades down if you have them.  
  • Leave a bowl of water in the car with the dog so it can keep itself hydrated
  • Leave any feeding of the dog till you get it home, don't feed it in the car as it makes it more thirsty.

We at Grey District Council do not encourage any dog or animal being left unattended in a vehicle. We care about its welfare and safety. If you are unsure and would like some advise please do not hesitate to contact our friendly animal control staff here at Council who be more than happy to help you.  

REMEMBER: A safe and stress free dog, is a happy dog.

Roaming Dogs

Our animal control team here at Grey District Council have extensive experience working with dogs of all breeds, sizes and temprements. They are highly trained and skilled in responding to various types of situations that they may be called on to handle. Here's what to do if you encounter a roaming dog.

Q) What should I do if I see a roaming dog?

If you see a roaming dog, call us on 0274375452 and we will send out an animal control officer to investigate.
If you feel that is safe to do so yourself, secure the dog. Try using a lead or other suitable item to keep the dog secure until animal control arrives.
Dogs that are roaming can cover a lot of ground and are likely to have wandered quite a distance from its home by the time animal control arrive.

Q) What happens if my dog is caught roaming?

We here at Grey District Council understand that dogs do roam from time to time away from their property. If this is the first time your dog has been reported to Council as roaming, and your dog is registered, it will be returned home as long as someone is there to secure the dog, and only if animal control are working in the area. Otherwise, dogs picked up for roaming will be taken to the Greymouth Animal Shelter (Pound) where the owner will be required to pay a fee to have the dog released.
A person can be disqualified as a dog owner if they receive three or more fines. This means they can no longer own or have a dog. 
If the dog attacks a person or animal while it is roaming, a fine or legal prosecution may follow.  

REMEMBER: Repeated roaming will result in fines being issued.

Page reviewed: 10 Dec 2019 12:09pm