Keyword: #dogcontrol

Dog Control
Whakahaere Kurī

If you're a dog owner, here you'll find information relating to your responsibilities including compliance with the Dog Control Policy and Bylaw, dog registration, special dog ownership policy, impounding of dogs, microchip transponders, owner responsibilities and dog attacks.

There are approximately 2400 dogs in the Ōtorohanga District.


Dog Control Policy and Bylaw

Ōtorohanga District Council has a Dog Control Policy and a Dog Control Bylaw which provides a comprehensive code for dog owners in the District.

The Dog Control Bylaw and Policy together cover:

  • The establishment of public areas where dogs are prohibited, public dog exercise areas, as well as areas where leashes are required.
  • How fees are set for dog control and infringement offences.
  • Requirements around the housing and restraining of dogs.
  • Issues relating to dangerous or menacing dogs.

The Dog Policy and Bylaw are available to the public at the Council Office or can be viewed online.

Special Ownership Policy

Are you aware if you have a fully fenced property within the Ōtorohanga, Kāwhia or Aotea community boundaries you could apply for a Special Owner Policy for your dogs?

This classification has been designed to allow dog owners whose animals are well controlled and well cared for access to a discounted registration fee.


The requirements are that the registered owner:

  • Has made application for Special Owner status.
  • Has not been the subject of justified complaints or a successful prosecution within the previous two years
  • Has not had a dog impounded within the previous two years.
  • Has as adequately fenced with secure gates (urban areas only).

You could reduce your fees further by desexing your dog.


All rural dogs are automatically given the Special Ownership Policy.  If you do not meet the above requirements then the Special Ownership will be stripped and you will have to pay full registration for each dog. 

Dog Registration

The Dog Control Act 1996 requires the Ōtorohanga District Council to keep a register of all dogs over the age of three months residing within its District.

The owner of any dog over the age of three months must complete an application to register their dog with the Ōtorohanga District Council.

Dogs can be registered at the Council Office.

Dogs moving into town will receive free registration tags if the owner produces proof of current registration elsewhere.

A fee applies to each dog registered, the cost of this fee depends on the following factors:

  • where the dog is located (urban or rural)
  • whether the dog is neutered
  • whether the dog is securely and appropriately contained within the property
  • whether the dog has a history of being impounded or the subject of complaints or prosecutions.

Lower fees apply to dogs that are less likely to create problems which require the involvement of Council's Animal Control services.

Current fees for dog registration can be found on the fees and charges page.

Register a dog

Impounding of Dogs

Dogs found roaming in any public place or on another person's property, whether or not they are wearing collars or properly registered, may be impounded.

Fees are payable for impounded dogs and it may be required that the dog(s) are microchipped before leaving the pound.

Details of these charges can be found on the fees and charges page.

Microchip Transponders

From 1 July 2006, every dog which is registered for the first time, must be implanted with a microchip transponder. 

Dog owners will be required to provide evidence of the implant, usually a microchip certificate from the Vet or Ōtorohanga Animal Control Services, within two months of registration.

From 1 July 2006, every dog classified as Dangerous or Menacing since 1 December 2003 must be implanted with a microchip transponder.

The microchip must be implanted within two months of the dog being classified.

Dogs kept solely or principally for the purposes of herding or driving stock are exempt from the general microchipping requirement.

A declaration must be completed to obtain such an exemption.

Declare a working dog

Dog Owners

Responsible Dog Owners

Responsible dog owners will be required to:

  • register their dog
  • properly care for their dog
  • exercise their dog
  • train their dog

Irresponsible Dog Owners

Unfortunately, there are some owners who do not act in a responsible manner, and the following issues may occur as a result:

  • unregistered dogs
  • straying
  • fouling
  • persistent or loud barking
  • inappropriately accessing public places
  • displaying dangerous or threatening behaviour

These issues may require action by Council or its Animal Control Contractor.

Dog Attacks

It is important to ensure that your dog is socialised properly before taking them to public places.

Incidents of dog attacks should be reported to Council who has the power to seize dogs that attack people or animals. 

Council takes attacks of dogs on people or other animals very seriously. In emergency situations where there is a threat to safety Council can be contacted directly 24 hours a day.

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