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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti
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Permits and responsible dog owner status

If you have two or more dogs, you need a permit. If you have a good track record of dog ownership, you can apply for a Responsible Dog Owner status.

Dog permits - do you need one?

If you have two or more dogs you must hold a permit unless your property is zoned rural (but can be imposed if there are complaints against the dogs).

Applying for a permit

When you have applied and paid for the permit, an animal control officer will inspect your property.

You can apply by completing the application for a permit to keep 2 or more dogs on a property form and returning it to us. Alternatively you can visit any one of our service centres and staff will help you complete the application form.

You don't need to re-apply for the permit each year but if you have only one dog to register for two years, you will need to reapply and pay for a new permit if you wish to have 2 or more dogs on a property again.

Responsible Dog Owner status

You need to apply for Responsible Dog Owner (RDO) status before 15 April of each year and must meet all these criteria. You must be a registered dog owner with the DCC for at least 2 years and

  • your dog must be registered under your, your spouse's or your partner's details
  • your property must be adequately fenced to contain your dog at all times
  • you must fully understand and comply with the Control of Dogs Bylaw
  • your dog must not have been impounded by Animal Control in the past 2 years
  • your dog must be a pet - it must not be classified as a working dog.

Once you have applied, we will:

  1. Inspect your property
  2. Check our animal control records for any valid complaints against you
  3. Go through the education component with you.

You don't need to re-apply for RDO status each year but if you don't own a dog for two years, you will need to reapply when you get a new dog.

If you held a similar status in another district, you can apply to have it when you move here. We need verification of your former status, payment of the fee and we will do the property inspection.

Apply for Responsible Dog Owner status

You can apply by completing the Responsible Dog Owner Application form and returning it to us. Alternatively you can visit any one of our service centres and staff will help you complete the application form. There is a fee to apply for this permit.

Declining or revoking a permit or RDO

An application for a permit may be declined if your application or the property does not meet the criteria. The animal control officer will discuss this with you at the time of inspection. Your permit may be revoked if:

  • You breach the Control of Dogs Bylaw
  • There is a change in circumstances relating to the premises, owner or animals
  • You fail to re-register your dog/s by the due date.

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