This section includes application forms and general information for new and existing dog owners.
The Clutha District Council has about 7,300 dogs in the area, and most of their owners are responsible and will register, care for, exercise, and train their dogs. It is important that dog owners or people who are thinking about purchasing a new dog are aware of their responsibilities under the Dog Control Act 1996 and the Council's 1997 Bylaw.
Adequate fencing of a property is essential if a dog is contemplated as a pet, as is time to devote to the welfare and exercise of your dog. Size of a dog can be important as the bigger the dog, the more energy and time is spent of his or her wellbeing and needs. Choose carefully, and remember that in a few months that cuddly bundle will grow to a four- legged, clumsy, furniture-and-anything laying about, chewing machine. This would be a good time to mention that dog obedience clubs have courses where your dog can be socialised, and taught the correct and accepted way to behave. The courses are designed to teach your how to train your pet, with and on training for the dog, reinforced by the knowledge that you have.
A dog is supposed to be "man's best friend" and this country is a nation of animal lovers. Unfortunately dogs can also be a nuisance if not properly controlled, and some owners are not as responsible about their pets as they should be.
Council has adopted a Regulatory Bylaw, part 6 of which controls dogs in the Clutha District.
Dog Registration and Application Forms
Your dog must be registered on an annual basis. Registrations expire on 30 June of each year and all dog owners have one month after that to re-register their dog (31 July) before a penalty is incurred. Any dog owners who have moved, or whose dogs have died or left the district are also reminded to contact Council so your records can be updated.
Dog registrations can be done online or via a form. Forms are available at the bottom of this page.
Please refer to our Fees and Charges page to see the cost of registering your dog.
All new registrations for pups and dogs under three months of age, reduced proportionately by one twelfth (1/12) per month, according to the date registered.
Please note that the following definitions apply to Dog Registrations;
- Rural Owners: Owners who live in a rural area as defined in the District Plan.
- Urban Owners: Owners who live in an Urban, Industrial, Transitional or Rural Settlement area as defined by the District Plan.
- Guide Dogs: A guide dog that is registered with the Guide Dog Foundation. Dogs that are required to be registered part way through the year e.g. new puppies, are charged at a pro rata of the applicable fee for a full year.
If you discover that your dog is missing, or if you find your dog on this register, please contact us on 03 419 0200. The pound is open to the public by appointment only. Click here to see whether your dog has been impounded.
Microchipping is a permanent way of identifying a dog. Wearing a microchip means a dog can be linked back to its owner if it's lost or stolen. Micro-chips are the size of a grain of rice and are implanted into a dog's back, between its shoulder blades by a qualified person.
The following dogs MUST BE microchipped:
- ALL new dogs and other working dogs
- ALL dogs that are classified as dangerous or menacing
- ANY unregistered dog that has been impounded
- ANY registered dog that is impounded for a second time.
You can arrange for your dog to be microchipped at your local vet or by contacting Council to make an appointment with one of our Animal Control Officers at service centres in Balclutha, Milton, Owaka, Tapanui or Lawrence.
While Council is not actively enforcing the microchipping of dogs at present (except unregistered impounded and menacing/dangerous dogs), most other Councils are, and dog owners are reminded of the requirement of dogs registered after 1 July 2006 to be microchipped. Quite a few dog owners have been caught out when they have moved to another district and have been required to microchip their dog.
Multiple Dog Licence
Pursuant to Clause 10 (limitation on number of dogs) of the Bylaw no more than two dogs of registerable age (whether or not such dogs are registered) may be kept on any premises situated in the urban, industrial, or rural settlement resource areas as defined by the Clutha District Plan unless the owner or occupier is the holder of a licence to keep more than two dogs.
Every application for a licence shall be made in writing to Council and be accompanied by the appropriate fee, and
- shall be subject to such conditions as Council sees fit to impose, and
- shall have effect only in relation to the premises described on the licence, and
- shall not be transferable to any other premises or person.
To apply online for permission to keep more than two dogs click here:
Please note this application will not be approved until you have obtained permission from your neighbours and you have paid the application fee. To find out how much the fee is, visit our fees and charges online click here. You can pay either pay via internet banking, post in a cheque or pay at any of our Council offices.
Conditions relating to the issuing of a Multiple Dog Licence
The keeping of more than two dogs by the occupier of any property is subject to the following conditions:
- The number of dogs on the premises shall NOT exceed the number permitted as indicated on the licence
- All dogs kept on the premises must be housed in such a manner as not to cause nuisance to neighbours
- Kennels, runs and other areas on the property used by the dogs must be kept clean and free from nuisance conditions
- All requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996 and the Clutha District Dog Control Bylaw must be met
- The licence specifically precludes housing or breeding of dogs as a commercial enterprise unless Resource Consent has been granted under the Clutha District Plan.
- All deaths, sales or transfers of dogs, (including pups born on the premises) are to be notified to Council within 14 days
- Prior application shall be made to Council before any changes are undertaken that affect the terms and conditions under which the licence is issued.
- No change of dog breeds is permitted without prior Council approval.
- A licence may be subject to such terms, conditions, and restrictions as Council may from time to time consider necessary to impose.
- A licence may be revoked if there is any breach of its terms and conditions.
- Licences are not transferable between occupiers or between premises.
When dogs stray, they can be a serious hazard. They may attack people, other dogs, or livestock. A major problem with straying dogs is the danger they cause to road traffic. Many accidents and injuries are caused by dogs, who have no road sense, and drivers reactions are sometimes not quick enough to avoid an accident. This can result in a severely injured or dead dog, substantial damage to the vehicle, as well as the occupants of the vehicle and other road users or pedestrians.
They are also a nuisance to other properties by fouling, digging in gardens, and scavenging other pets food. Make sure your dog is confined to your property as impounding fees can have an impact on any household budget. Your dog should always wear the current registration tag, because it makes it easier to re-unite the dog back to its family.
A person in charge of any dog shall not allow the dog to foul in a public place with the immediate removal of the faecal material.
When you take your dog out, you should always have a suitable bag in your pocket. If the dog defecates in a place where you are required to clean it up, or anywhere it is likely to be a nuisance to other people, you should put your hand inside the bag, pick up the faeces, then turn the bag inside out and tie the top and dispose of it in a suitable place. At the earliest opportunity you should wash your hands.
We all expect dogs to bark, especially if somebody comes to the property (his domain). However, if dogs bark for prolonged periods, they can cause considerable disturbances to neighbours. If a dog's barking is sufficient to be an unreasonable intrusion into someone else's enjoyment of their property - e.g. keeping them awake, then that is a nuisance, and the Council can serve a notice on the person responsible, requiring the noise to be abated.
Dogs tend to bark for prolonged periods if they are bored when left home alone. There are various ways of encouraging dogs to stop barking as outlined in the Dog Noise Information Brochure, and our Animal Control Officer is also happy to give advice.
Obligations of Dog Owners
- All dogs must be registered with their Local Authority before attaining the age of three months
- Legally any person in charge of a dog is deemed to be the owner
- Dogs must be kept under control at all times. When on a road they must be restrained by the use of a lead held by a person capable of controlling the dog.
- Every person in charge of a dog that fouls is responsible for the immediate removal of the faeces
- In the Clutha District area, a licence is required to keep more than two dogs on a property, regardless of the number of owners.
- All dog owners must take reasonable steps to ensure that the dog does not cause a nuisance by persistent and loud barking or howling to any other person .
Dogs are not allowed in a prohibited area at any time:
- Areas laid out and equipped as children's' playgrounds.
- The designated playing area of all sports grounds
- All school grounds
- All swimming pools
- Any premises used for the manufacture, preparation, storage, or the sale of food
- Designated areas of bathing beaches during periods when daylight saving is in force
- Clyde Street, Balclutha between the intersections of Renfrew and Gordon Streets
- This prohibition does not apply to Guide dogs for the blind, Hearing ear dogs, police dogs, dogs being used by security guards or dogs confined in an efficient container, or securely confined in or by lead or restraint on a vehicle nor does it apply to organised events authorised by Council
- Dogs riding on motor vehicles must be attached by a lead or chain short enough to prevent the dog from falling off or attacking persons passing by.
- It is an offence to have a dog known to have an infectious disease or to be in season in a public place.
- All owners must ensure their dog receives adequate exercise appropriate to their age size and breed.
- All dogs must be well fed and clean fresh water must be available at all times.
- If outside, a warm weatherproof shelter must be provided for all dogs.
Thinking of getting a puppy?
You've seen a puppy to give away on TradeMe, or your friend's dog has had pups. They are adorable and you want one. Before you commit to getting a dog, ask yourself the following questions - and be honest with the answers.
- Can you afford a dog? The puppy might be free to a good home, but then you have the costs of vaccination, micro chipping and registration in addition to feeding costs. If your dog has an accident or gets sick, can you afford the vet bills?
- Do I have time for a dog? If you are working full time, your dog will be alone all day. Is it going to start barking because it is lonely? Are you prepared to get up an hour earlier to take your dog for a walk or spent the time needed to socialise it and teach it basic good manners?
- Is my property suitable for a dog? Is it fenced or will your dog wander and cause a nuisance? If you are renting, are you allowed to have a dog and if you have to leave your current rental, will you be able to find somewhere that allows dogs?
- Where will I be in two years? Or five years? Remember dogs live to around 15 years, meaning you are making a 15- year commitment to care for that dog. If you will soon be leaving school and starting work or going to university, what will happen to your dog? Too often parents are left to care for animals their children can no longer care for or have lost interest in. Will your parents be prepared to take over your responsibility?
Please take the time to consider whether it's the right time for you to take on a dog. Too often councils are left to deal with complaints about barking and wandering dogs that have been bought or taken on by their owners on impulse, only to become a nuisance six months down the track. If you have the slightest doubt, please, please don't get that cute puppy. It's not fair on the dog and it's not fair on your neighbours and c ouncil staff who have to deal with the resulting problem behaviour.
Dog Control Policy and Practices Report
Section 10A of the Dog Control Act 1996 requires the Council to report on its dog control policies and practices for the financial year. Click here to read the Dog Control Policy and Practices Report.