Responsible Dog Owners

14 March 2011

Dog owners have just under six weeks to qualify for Responsible Dog Owner (RDO) status and pay lower registration fees.

Tully and Kosmo with their owner

Tully and Kosmo with their owner

We'll remind all dog owners about the registration fees in May, but it's not too late to apply to be assessed for RDO status.

Wellington City Council's Manager of Public Health, Alison Box, says it's well worth applying.

"You pay less registration fees for a start," says Alison. "And it helps everyone. To become a Responsible Dog Owner, you need to show that your dog is adequately behaved, happy, well-fed and well exercised. The dog benefits, so do we, and so does everyone else. No one needs to be reminded of the types of things that happen when a dog is out of control."

One-quarter of Wellington dog owners already have this status. It costs $53.50 to apply. Alison says that once you get RDO status, it lasts for the life of your dog. However, this status can be taken off you if it's found that you're not so responsible any more.

To gain Responsible Dog Owner status before the registration bills are mailed out, your application must be received and approved by our Animal Control team by 30 April. All dogs - and that's around 10,000 in Wellington city - must be registered by 1 July every year, including all puppies over three months of age.

Registering your dog for the first time is simple - you'll find a form on our website pick one up from our City Service Centre. If your dog is already registered with us, you'll automatically get a reminder in May.

In return for registration, we maintain a database of all dog owners and give tips on obedience training and where you can exercise your dog.

We also maintain the dog pound at Moa Point where we keep unregistered waifs and strays, plus we provide a free education programme to promote public safety and responsible dog ownership.

For more information, phone (04) 801 3222 or go to:

Dog Registration - Responsible Owner Discount