New registration fees encourage responsible dog ownership

Published on 30 May 2019


Horowhenua District Council has adopted a new schedule for animal control fees in 2019/20.

The new schedule puts greater deterrents in place for owners who fail to properly control their dogs, with a new graduated scale of fees for repeat impounds of the same dog. The first impound will cost $80, the second $130, and subsequent impounds $180. In addition, the charge to owners of dogs that need to be impounded after hours rises from $95 to $155.

Registration fees for most classes of dogs will increase by between $2 and $8.

“A small increase was unavoidable to cover the costs of meeting Council’s obligations under the Dog Control Act,” said Horowhenua District Council Compliance Manager, Vai Miller. The last increase in dog registration fees was in 2017/18.

The new fee schedule comes after Council officers reconsidered the original proposed fees, tabled at the Council meeting of 10 April, following concerns raised by elected members that responsible dog owners would be penalised by a proposed $9 increase to the discounted registration fees offered to those with Selected Owner status.

Dog registration fees for Selected Owners will now increase by only $2, rising from $58 to $60. The standard fee for a de-sexed pet dog is $72, with fees for other classes of dogs ranging from free (for a disability assistance dog) to $120 for an entire dog. The new schedule removes the distinction between urban and rural entire pet dogs. Additional charges apply for dangerous dogs.

Ms Miller said the Dog Control Act allows councils to set lower fees for proven responsible dog owners.

“Dogs registered under Selected Owner status must meet certain criteria that make them good canine citizens, such as being de-sexed, completing obedience training, having no justified complaints against them in the last 12 months, and living on a well-fenced property,” she said.

“We want to reward and encourage responsible dog ownership, and one way we can do that is by offering a lower registration fee.”

Dog registration renewals open in July, and registration papers will be sent to the last recorded address of each dog owner in the last week of June.

Dog owners with any change to their contact details or dog ownership status should notify Council as soon as possible. 

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