Dogs and other animals
Owning a dog
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to know your obligations and comply with the laws concerning the management of your dog.
The Dog Control Act 1996 sets out the major rules and obligations for dog owners. Its intention is to ensure dogs are well cared for, that accidents, attacks and injuries to people, wildlife, and other animals are minimised and that the potential for dog-related nuisance is reduced. It also sets out penalties for not complying with the Act.
All dogs must be microchipped within two months of being registered for the first time or prior to being released from the pound.
A 15-digit unique number assigned to the microchip helps identify your dog through our registration records and the National Dog Database.
Dogs classified as working dogs, which are used solely or principally for the purpose of herding or driving stock, are exempt from microchipping.
Microchipping may be done by a vet or the SPCA.
Once your dog has been micro-chipped you need to inform the local council so they can keep the information on record.
Changes to your dog’s registration details
Update your dog’s details
You can update your dog’s details at the council’s Customer Service Centre. You will need to update details when:
• You change your contact details
• there is a change of ownership of the dog
• the dog dies.
The council requires a copy of the desexing and microchipping certificates as evidence for your owner file.
Working dogs are used for herding or driving stock, disability assist, security or pest control. We also have specific working dog categories based on recent resolutions passed by council.
If you believe your dog meets the working dog criteria, you can apply to us by filling out our working dog declaration stating your dog is used for this purpose. You may be required demonstrate or provide evidence to support the classification.
Surrendering your dog
If you wish to surrender your dog please contact the council to arrange the transfer of the dog to their control.
If your dog is impounded by one of our officers and it’s microchipped, the council will contact you.
You’ll need to pay any impounding, microchipping and registration fees before it can be released.
Fees can be paid by cash or eftpost
Dangerous and menacing dogs
What is a dangerous dog?
Dangerous dogs are those classed as high risk, usually after an attack or aggressive behaviour that is deemed to be a serious threat to any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or wildlife.
Dog owners with a classified dangerous dog must:
• keep the dog in a property that is securely fenced and allows safe access to at least one door of the dwelling
• neuter the dog within one month of the classification
• muzzle the dog when it is removed from the fenced area of the property or taken into any public place (even when on a leash)
• control the dog on a leash at all times
• pay the dangerous dog rate for dog registration for the rest of the dog’s life, this is 150% of normal registration rate
• obtain written permission from the council before selling or disposing of the dog
• disclose the dangerous dog classification to any new owners if there is a change of ownership
• advise any temporary owner or carer of all the requirements.
A dangerous dog classification lasts for the life of the dog.
What is a menacing dog?
Dogs can be classed as menacing if they are seen or are reported to be posing a threat to any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or wildlife.
There are also five types of dogs automatically classed as menacing under Schedule 4 of the Dog Control Act 1996:
• Brazilian Fila
• Dogo Argentino
• Japanese Tosa
• Perro de Presa Canario
• American Pit Bull Terrier
A menacing dog must be on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public places to ensure the risk to the public is minimised.
Desexing menacing dogs will become compulsory in the future. If your dog is registered, we will contact you with an opportunity to book your dog into a nominated vet clinic for desexing.
Infringements and offences
We can issue an infringement notice and charge an infringement fee to any person who breaches the Dog Control Act 1996 or our Control of Dogs Bylaw 2013.
You can get an infringement if you do not:
• register your dog
• keep your dog under proper control
• place your dog on a leash when and where required
• remove your dog’s droppings from a public place
• let us know of a change of dog ownership.
The infringement fees are set by legislation and vary depending on the offence.
Pay a dog infringement
Payments for dog infringements can be made by internet banking or in person at one of our customer service centres.
Be sure to quote your infringement number when paying by internet banking to ensure your payment is allocated to the correct account.
Animal Management Services
Give us a call to make a complaint about:
• roaming dogs
• dogs attacking or rushing people or other animals
• dog nuisance, such as loud and persistent barking or howling
• dogs fouling
• keeping of pigs, poultry, bees and other animals within residential areas
• wandering stock obstructing public roads (excluding State Highways – contact NZTA to notify).
If your complaint is not urgent, you can also let us know the details by filling in our Contact Us form online.
Adopt a dog
Looking to adopt a furry friend? We re-home suitable dogs that have been abandoned or surrendered.
You can view dogs up for adoption at our pound during the opening hours. Before you adopt, we need:
• to check your property. One of our officers will make sure it is suitable for keeping a dog.
• an adoption fee of $105 plus the cost for de-sexing – this fee includes registration and microchipping.
• a completed adoption form.
Barking is a normal and healthy means of communication for a domestic dog. However, when the barking is not responded to in the appropriate manner it may become a nuisance.
Under the Dog Control Act 1996 a dog is allowed to bark but not so that it creates a nuisance by persistent and loud barking or howling.
If you are being affected by barking or howling, we suggest you talk to the owner of the dog. Often dog owners are unaware their dog is creating a nuisance and will make a conscious effort to remedy the problem.
Another option is to report the barking dog to us. Include as much detail as possible so that we can correctly identify the location and the dog. Times and duration of the barking and whether or not the owners are home at the time is also useful information to provide at the time of complaint.
Please remember barking problems can take time to remedy.
What we do when we receive a complaint
A compliance officer will visit the property and attempt to assess the barking problem. They will offer advice to the dog owner for possible remedial actions. We will also send the owner a formal letter advising that a complaint has been made.
If the problem continues, please make a further complaint. We may conduct a survey of the general area to find out if other neighbours are affected.
If we find that the dog is still barking to a nuisance level and the owner has not made improvements to the situation, we can:
• send a formal letter to the owner
• issue a barking abatement notice
• issue an infringement for breaching the barking abatement notice with a $200 fee
• impound the dog for breaching the barking abatement notice
• keep the dog until we are satisfied the owner will address the barking effectively
• prosecute the owner.
Tips to stop your dog barking
Dogs generally bark for a reason. This may be boredom, attention seeking, responding to someone coming onto your property, seeing cats or birds nearby or hearing other dogs and neighbours.
If you suspect your dog is barking while you are away, consult with your neighbours asking them to monitor the barking while you are not home.
Also, when you are at home and your dog barks, you should rectify the problem immediately.
Tips to prevent nuisance barking:
• Exercise your dog regularly.
• Rotate and restrict toys your dog can play with at one time. Easy access to all toys will easily lead to boredom.
• Place treats in different places:
• around the lawn so your dog can sniff it out
• in a sandpit, if you have one, so your dog can dig the treats out
• hanging on a rope’s end so your dog has to jump and work for it
• in a treat ball.
• Get your dog to play with other dogs. This will help your dog learn the difference between safe and threatening situations (when barking is helpful).
• Ask a friend or a dog sitter to look after your dog.
• Keep your dog in a position where it cannot see foot traffic to bark at.
• NEVER hit your dog. This only builds mistrust and will not stop nuisance barking.
• Seek advice from a professional such as a dog trainer, local obedience club, one of our compliance officers, your local SPCA or your vet.
Lost and found dogs
If you have lost your dog, give us a call the council. You can also try visiting the local SPCE or Pound.
If you find a dog, secure it somewhere (if possible) and call the council. We’ll send an officer out to pick it up and take it to the pound until the owner can be contacted.
If you find a dog and keep it for more than 72 hours you become legally liable for that dog’s registration and behaviour.
Owning more than TWO dogs:
If your property is zoned residential or rural residential, you need to apply for a permit to keep more than two dogs over the age of three months.
The following requirements apply for a permit application:
• any kennelling and attached run must be at least three metres from all boundary fences – it may be as close as one metre with a signed approval of the neighbour sharing the boundary fence.
• kennelling must have a suitable method for the disposing of dog excrement. A separate permit is required for connection to sewerage.
• all dogs over the age of three months are to be registered with the us for the current registration year.
• good dog control record with no complaints or impoundings within the last two years.
• the property must have dog-proof fencing allowing safe access to a doorway of the dwelling, i.e. dogs should not have access to this doorway.
• property check able to be undertaken by an officer.
Any breaches of the Dog Control Act 1996 or our Control of Dogs Bylaw 2004 may result in the cancellation of the permit, if approved.
How to apply:
You can contact your council’s customer service centre to get an application form.
You’ll need to provide:
• full details of all dogs being kept on the property including how they will be kennelled and kept secure.
• your neighbours signed approval.
• if your property is a rental, written agreement from the property owner.
• sketch of the property showing the kennelling in relation to neighbouring properties (if applicable).
A property visit will be undertaken to check the suitability of the dog accommodation and the property set up. An officer will give you a call to set up a time that suits.
The outcome of your application will be given on site and by formal letter.
Dog exercise and restricted areas
Our aim is to balance the needs of dogs and their owners, while minimising any potential danger, distress or nuisance to the community and environment.
There are a number of designated areas where dogs can be exercised freely off the leash. However, we only encourage owners to let their dogs free if they can control them by a call or whistle.
• You must carry a leash with you at all times.
• Always pick up and appropriately dispose of your dog’s droppings.
• Your dog must be under proper control at all times – you must be aware of where your dog is and what it is doing. Ensure the dog responds to commands and prevent it from endangering or causing distress to people, other animals or any wildlife.
• Dogs are not allowed in any children’s play areas.
• Bitches that are in season are not allowed in public places.
Remember to look for any signs that indicate dog restrictions, such as leashed or prohibited areas.
Dogs may be exercised off-leash in the following public places provided they are kept under proper control by the person responsible:
• Control Gates Reserve
• Spa Thermal Park (excluding children’s play equipment)
• Kimberley Reserve
• Tamatea Water Reserve
• Titoki Water Reserve
• Hawai Street Reserve
• Secombe Park
• Besley Park
• Part of Mangakino Recreational Reserve – south of Lake Road between Lake Maraetai and golf course
• Te Rangiita/Waitekoko Lakeside Reserve
• Waipapa Reserve
• Taupahi Road Reserve
• Grassed area between Turangi Park and the houses between Aonini Road and Wharekaihua Grove that back on to the reserve
• Lakeshore Recreation Reserve adjacent to Lake Taupo from Pihanga Road to the end of Motutaiko Street
• Kuratau Lakeshore Recreation Reserve – from cliff top area to Ihaia Road (excluding the beach area)
• Pukawa South Recreation Reserve known as Pukawa Common (excluding area between roadway and lake)
• Whareroa Esplanade Reserve adjacent to Lake Taupo (Known as Kowhai Flats)
• Marina Terrace Reserve
Restricted areas (except when in a vehicle)
Dogs must be on leash at all times in these locations:
• Lakefront Reserve – below the embankment from the Lake Terrace pump station (excluding the access road through to and including the Sea Scouts building)*
• Two Mile Bay Reserve and the beach area (excluding the walkway)*
• The part of the beach area (excluding the walkway) from Mapou Road to Kowhai Road, Taupo*
• Wharewaka Reserve and beach area (excluding the walkway) from below Kohatu Parade to Wharewaka Point*
• The beach area at Acacia Bay North
• Shopping mall, Turangi town centre
• Lakeshore Recreation Reserve adjacent to Lake Taupo from Kuratau River mouth to the end of Motutaiko Street*
• Esplanade Reserve at Hatepe*
• Pukawa Esplanade Reserve
• Esplanade Reserve
*Between 1 December and 31 March, during the hours of 9am to 7pm, dogs are prohibited in these restricted areas, even when on leash.
Dogs are prohibited in the following areas at all times, even when on leash:
• All sports grounds
• All children’s play equipment areas
• AC Baths
• Turtle Pools
• Mangakino Community Pool
Please note, these prohibitions and restrictions do not apply to:
• guide or hearing ear dogs
• Police, Customs or security dogs under the direct control of their handler.
Other animals, birds and bees.
• pigs and roosters are not permitted within residential areas.
• any other animals, birds or bees are to be kept in a well constructed and adequately maintained facility to ensure the health and safety of people, animals, birds and bees.
• any other animals, birds or bees must not cause a nuisance to the public including noise or odour.
• breaches of this bylaw may result in enforcement action.
Any complaints received in relation to the keeping of other animals, birds or bees will be investigated by our compliance team.