Responsible dog owner status

Responsible Dog Owner status is a special dog ownership status that recognises responsible dog ownership and entitles holders of the status to a reduced dog registration fee for payment by 30 June.

Dog owners eligible to be classified as a Responsible Dog Owner must meet all conditions and criteria below but generally have:

  • a record of good and responsible dog ownership
  • consistent and timely payment of dog registration fees
  • a history of compliance with relevant legal requirements.

Be recognised as a responsible dog owner

Applications must be made prior to 30 April, and if granted, registration must be paid in full by the end of June.

Responsible dog owner fees must be paid by 30 June

To claim the reduced fee available for holders of the responsible dog owner status, registration fees are required to be paid by 30 June each year.  Higher fees would then apply for registration up to 31 July.

Failure to register by 31 July may cause the responsible dog owner status to be lost, and the owner would then be ineligible to obtain the status again for two years. They would then be paying a standard dog registration fee for their dogs.

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.

A dog owner seeking Responsible Dog Owner status must meet the above application criteria, and may apply for the status online or at a Council service centre.

Applications must be received and approved prior to 30 April in any year to enable the successful applicant to gain Responsible Dog Owner status for the dog registration year commencing 1 July that year.

All dog(s) owned or kept by the applicant must be controlled in accordance with the Dog Control Act 1996 and with the current Christchurch City Council Dog Control Bylaw.

The Council reserves the right to carry out random property inspections (in accordance with the Dog Control Act) to ensure compliance with good ownership practices.

Any breach of the criteria and conditions of this policy may lead to the immediate withdrawal of Responsible Dog Owner status.

Should Responsible Dog Owner status be withdrawn from an owner because the criteria and conditions of this policy have been breached, that owner may not be considered for the status for two years after the date of the withdrawal.

Any change of residential address or dog registration details must be notified in writing, online or by phone to the Council within 14 days of such change occurring.