Get help and support with your dog

Get help if you have lost or found a dog, or have a problem with a wandering, barking, dangerous or menacing dog.

If you are reporting a dog attack or an aggressive/rushing dog call us on 03 941 8999 (24/7) for immediate assistance.

The Animal Management Team administers and enforces the provisions of the Dog Control Act 1996(external link), the Christchurch City Council’s Dog Control Policy and Bylaws and the Impounding Act 1955(external link), within the Christchurch City Council district.

Found and lost dogs

Lost dogs

If you have lost a dog please phone us immediately (24/7) on 03 941 8999.

To check if a lost dog is being held with the Council, you can visit our dog shelter: 

Address: 10 Metro Place, Bromley, Christchurch.

Phone:  03 941 7048 to make an appointment between  9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

The Council's Animal Shelter public opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday, 1pm to 5pm
  • Monday to Friday, 5pm to 5.30pm by appointment only
  • Saturdays from 9am to 1pm to collect dogs by appointment only
  • Closed Sunday and public holidays

If you have lost your dog, you can also try:

Found dogs

Found dogs are held at the Council's animal shelter.

The law requires all impounded dogs to be held for at least seven days while the Council attempts to contact the dog's owner, or the owner contacts the Council.

After the seventh day, if the owner has not claimed the dog, the Council assumes legal responsibility and ownership of the dog. If an impounded dog is sick or injured, the Council will immediately seek veterinary advice.

Owners of claimed dogs are required to pay registration and impounding fees including food.

Barking dogs

Dogs bark naturally to communicate, so occasional barking may be expected. But when the barking is excessive, your dog may be bored or lacking stimulation, especially if left alone during the day.

Dog barking can be a nuisance for your community, and when loud and excessive is a sound few people can tolerate. This is one of the most common dog complaints reported to councils.

If you have a problem with a dog causing a nuisance, you should contact the owner in the first instance if you are able, or contact the Council on 03 941 8999 or online(external link) to have the matter investigated.

Report a barking dog

Dangerous dogs

Generally, a dog must be classified as dangerous if:

  • The owner has been convicted of an attacking dog offence under the Dog Control Act 1996.(external link)
  • Sworn evidence has been received on one or more occasions that the dog was aggressive.
  • A dog owner admits in writing that their dog constitutes a threat to people or animals.

When a dog is classified as dangerous, the dog owner has a right to object within 14 days of receiving the classification notice. Objections must be in writing.

If the Council has classified a dog as dangerous, the owner:

  • Must ensure that the dog is kept within a securely fenced portion of the owner’s property that it is not necessary to enter to obtain access to at least one door of any dwelling on the property.
  • Must not allow the dog to be at large in any public place or in any private way except when confined completely within a vehicle or cage, without being:

(i) Muzzled in such a manner as to prevent the dog from biting but to allow it to breathe and drink without obstruction.

(ii) Controlled on a leash, except when in a dog exercise area specified in a bylaw made under section 20(1)(d)(external link).

  • Within one month of the classification, provide a vet’s certificate to show that the dog has been desexed.
  • Pay an annual dog registration fee that is 50 per cent higher than the standard fee.
  • Apply to the Council in whose district the dog will be kept, before disposing of the dog to any other person.
  • Advise any other person responsible for the dog for up to 72 hours, of the need for a muzzle and a leash in public.

Failure to comply with any of the above makes the owner of a dangerous dog liable to infringement offence notices under several sections of the Dog Control Act 1996(external link), or to a fine of up to $3000 upon conviction.

A Dog Control Officer may also seize, remove and hold the dog until the Council is satisfied that the dog owner will comply with the requirements.

Menacing dogs

A dog may be classified as menacing either because of it's breed or type, having characteristics typically associated with one of those breeds or types, or because it has attacked or exhibited aggressive behaviour.

The Council must classify as menacing any dog that either wholly or predominantly belongs to one or more of the following dog breeds or types:

  • Brazilian Fila
  • Dog Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • American Pit Bull types
  • Perro de Presa Canario

If your dog is classified as menacing you must:

  • Keep the dog muzzled while at large or in a public place or private way, unless it is completely confined in a vehicle or cage.
  • Within one month of the classification, provide a vet's certificate showing that the dog has been desexed.
  • Advise any other person responsible for the dog for up to 72 hours, of the need for the dog to be muzzled in public.

Wandering dogs

Containment of dogs is a serious responsibility, so you are urged to ensure your dog is well controlled and not allowed to wander.

If you have a problem with a dog causing a nuisance you should contact the owner in the first instance if you are able, or contact the Council online(external link) or on 03 941 8999 to have the matter investigated.

Takiuru ki ā mātou ratonga
Log in to our services