Welcome to the first issue of The Paw Print, our quarterly newsletter for dog owners.
Every season we'll be sharing dog owner related information, stories, and news to help keep you informed. If you there is a topic you think we should cover, let us know.
You'll also notice Tessa our pup, throughout this newsletter. She'll be sharing dog owner tips, tricks and special offers with you as well.
Why do I have to pay a dog registration?
One of the oldest pieces of legislation in New Zealand, dog registrations were first introduced as a legal requirement in 1880 by the central government.
Registering your dog with your local council means your beloved pet is registered on the National Dog Database and can be returned if it is found roaming, has escaped or been stolen. This is why it’s also important that you register your dog by the time it’s three-months-old and keep your address and phone number up to date, especially if you recently moved. Updating your details is easy and you can do it online right now.
Where does my registration money go?
All funds collected through dog registrations go back into the community through our dog control programme. With over 13,000 registered dogs in Tauranga, your fees help us respond to nearly 5000 complaints a year, around 700 dogs to their owners or find them new homes.
Your fees also help us maintain our animal shelter where we care for dogs once they have been impounded. It is here we manage the rehoming of unclaimed dogs and make sure they get the attention they need before finding their forever homes.
We also use registration fees to deliver our education program and dog-related events across Tauranga. Our team visit schools, teaching children how to interact with dogs and avoid being bitten. We also run workplace education for groups such as postal service staff, district nurses to help give them the confidence to deal with dogs while working.
Finally, your fees also pay for the installation and maintenance of poo bag dispensers too.
Make sure your dog is microchipped
If your dog is ever lost, microchipping is the best way to guarantee it can be returned to you when found. How it works is simple, each chip gives a dog a unique number that can be scanned to identify the owner. These numbers are kept on two databases, there’s the National Dog Database (NDD) that is used by councils, and there is also the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR) which is used by vets and the SPCA. It’s important that you make sure your dog is recorded on both.
Microchipping does not hurt your dog either. The chip is no bigger than a grain of rice and sits just under the dog’s skin, most dogs don’t even know they’ve been chipped. Also, it doesn’t have any electrical components or battery, so the chip doesn’t give off any magnetic or electric fields.
It works too! We had a dog end up at our shelter and when we scanned the tag, it said the dog had been stolen from Fielding three years ago. We phoned the original owners and they were excited to be reunited with their pet. The dog was also extremely happy to see its real owners too. This would never have happened without the microchip.
For more information about microchipping or how to get in touch to make sure your dog is on our database read our flyer below:
Microchipping flyer (405kb pdf)
Changes to bylaw
Earlier this year, council reviewed its dog management bylaw, and after receiving feedback from the public they made the following changes:
- All menacing dogs are to be neutered. Council has some Government funding to support this, so the first in will get receive neutering for free.
- All adopted dogs are to be neutered before release.
- no dogs allowed at Pilot Bay, Mount Main Beach, Mauao, in front of Omanu and Papamoa Surf clubs, within 10 metres of a playground or between flagged lifeguard areas.
- leash control areas have been modified to add new leash control areas by Omanu and Papamoa surf club car parks, as well as adjacent to Moturiki Island.
- Introduced a limit on the number of dogs an individual can exercise at one time.
If you would like to read the full bylaw you can find it below:
Dog Management Bylaw 2018 (3.7mb pdf)
If a dog is on its own, leave it alone
Recently we have had several incidents of people getting bitten when they have walked up to pat dogs tied up outside local cafés. Dogs may look friendly in such situations but remember if they are tied up they have no option to walk away if they feel scared. You may have the best intentions but to be safe, if a dog is on its own, leave it alone.
Keep your dog warm this winter
Dogs can feel the cold just like we do. So if yours is outside over winter, make sure their kennel is warm, dry and protecting them from the weather.
Keep your dog on a lead in shared spaces
When walking your dog, it’s important to keep it on a lead. Even if your dog is not aggressive, you don’t know what other dogs may be like and many people don’t want an unknown dog running up to them.
Dogs for adoption
Although impound rates have significantly dropped over the years, we still get some beautiful dogs looking for their forever homes. All dogs undergo temperament testing to ensure it is socialised with both people other dogs prior to adoption.
All dogs adopted are registered, microchipped and neutered.
Read more about the dogs looking for their forever homes