To report an urgent dog or animal complaint, call us on 07 577 7000.
We rely on information from the public to help keep the city safe. If you have a non urgent complaint to make about a dog or any other animal, please email us.
Dog or animal complaints
When we respond to your complaint we'll take your details and ask you some specific questions to help with our investigation, such as:
- your address
- address where the dog or animal lives
If your complaint is about a dog, we'll also ask if you know:
- the dog owner's name
- the colour of the dog
- the size of the dog
- the breed of the dog
- if the dog male or female
- description of dog's collar
- any other relevant information like is the dog aggressive or are there other dogs on the property.
Please be assured your details will remain confidential at all times.
Dog attack/dog bite
Public safety is our primary concern. To report a dog attack / dog bite please call us on 07 577 7000 – our customer service centre is available 24/7. Please notify us as soon as practical after the attack/act of aggression occurs.
Tauranga Hospital deals with many more victims of dog bite injuries than the number of complaints received by Council. This indicates that many attacks are not reported to Council. We can’t act if we don’t know.
Process for managing complaints
Depending on the type of complaint, the seriousness of the incident, and/or whether there have been any previous complaints, the response from Council will vary.
Generally, for a first, non-serious complaint we will send the owner (if known) a letter advising them of the complaint as well as any helpful tips to avoid receiving another complaint about the same issue. If a second complaint is received, an animal service officer will visit the property (if known) and talk directly to the owner to help resolve the issue.
Depending on the nature of the complaint and evidence:
- a written warning may be issued
- an infringement notice may be issued
- an abatement notice may be issued
- the dog may be required to be removed from the property
- the dog may be impounded
- the dog may be classified as menacing or dangerous
- the owner may be prosecuted
Generally, we find most owners are surprised to hear that a complaint has been made against their dog, and they are happy to rectify the problem.
There is further information on the process for managing barking complaints and the process for managing roaming complaints.
The more information you provide to us when you call, assists us to make the best decision when deciding how we respond. Sometimes the questions may not seem relevant, but they are to us.
Please be assured your details will remain confidential at all times unless the matter you have reported proceeds to a prosecution at which time you may be required to give evidence. Witnesses are not often required however it is a possibility.