A dog owner must apply by 30 April in order to be considered for the status, and meet the following criteria.
The dog owner must:
- have resided in the Christchurch City Council district for at least 12 months and have registered their dog/s in Christchurch
- have paid dog registration fees on or before 31 July for the last two years
- have all dogs micro-chipped in accordance with the Dog Control Act 1996, including providing the microchip number/s to the Council
- have a licence to keep multiple dogs (more than two) on their property (if applicable)
- inform the Council of any changes of dog registration details (dog or owner), residential and/or postal address changes, including information on the death, sale, or transfer of any dogs, and including details of the birth of any pups/dogs
The dog owner property where the dog resides must:
- be suitably fenced and gated to contain the dog
- allow dog-free access to a door of the dwelling for authorised callers
The owner must have complied with the requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996 and the current Christchurch City Council Dog Control Bylaw, and must not, in the last two years, have:
- had a dog that has been found at large, been uncontrolled, returned or impounded by Council Animal Management staff
- been issued with a warning notice for any dog-related offence, or an infringement offence notice under the Dog Control Act 1996
- been prosecuted for any dog-related offence
Owners of dogs classified as menacing (by "deed") under the Dog Control Act 1996 are not generally eligible to apply for Responsible Dog Owner status. If they cease to be the owner of such a dog, they may then be considered.
Owners of dogs classified as 'dangerous' under the Dog Control Act 1996 are not eligible to apply for Responsible Dog Owner status. If they cease to be the owner of such a dog, they may then be considered.