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Pūnaha pākoro

Impound process

If dogs are roaming or seized by an animal service officer because they’re unregistered or have attacked a person or animal, they will be taken to the Tauranga dog pound.

If your dog is registered and hasn’t been impounded or reported to Council as roaming in the last two years we will return the dog to its home, as long as the owner is there and the dog can be secured.

If you have lost your dog, please phone our call centre 24/7 on 07 577 7000. Alternatively, you can search our found dog register to see if your dog has ended up in our care.

Found dog register

What happens when a dog is impounded? 

Tauranga has a modern dog pound with large well-lit individual pens. The dog pound is designed to minimise contact between dogs to reduce injury and spread of disease. 

The Dog Control Act 1996 sets minimum standards around what we must do to locate an owner. If we can’t contact the owner by phone we must write to the last known address of the owner. We send these letters by fast post so we ensure they get to the owner as quickly as possible.

The owner has seven days from the date of the letter to make contact with Council and pay any fees to release the dog. This system relies on owners keeping Council updated with their most recent contact details. 

If the dog is registered our practice in Tauranga is to hold the dog for a further seven days before making a decision on the dog’s future.

Often dogs have lost their collar by the time they are impounded so having your dog implanted with a functioning microchip which has been notified to Council is an enormous help and provides proof of ownership.

What happens to unclaimed dogs?

If we haven’t heard from the owner within the allotted time or they haven’t paid the required fees the Dog Control Act states the dog may be sold, destroyed or otherwise disposed of. Only dogs deemed suitable for home placement can be adopted or rehomed. Dogs classified as dangerous will not be rehomed.

Temperament testing

Before making a decision on rehoming a dog, the dog will be temperament tested. Animal service officers assess dogs in their care and make decisions as to which dogs are suitable for testing. Officer safety and risks to other animals are the main considerations before testing begins. Dogs showing aggression are not tested.
There are some dogs that will never be rehomed, this includes: 

  • any dog that has been impounded that has a history of aggression
  • any American Pitt Bull Terrier type and crossbreeds of them
  • any dog that any officer assesses as not meeting our temperament standards.


 There are only five situations where Council may euthanize a dog, they are:

  • when an unregistered dog has been impounded and 7 days has elapsed from when the owner was notified and they haven’t claimed the dog (14 days for a registered dog). 
  • when an unregistered dog has been impounded, we don’t know who the owner is, seven days has elapsed and no owner has claimed the dog. 
  • where Council has accepted a dog which the owner has surrendered to them. (This is limited to special circumstances. Council does not generally accept dogs that owners no longer want). 
  • at the conclusion of a prosecution and the Court has made a destruction order. 
  • where the dog is injured or sick, to prevent the animal suffering and has been authorised by a veterinarian. 

All euthanasia is undertaken by a qualified veterinarian.

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