Dogs - Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to register my dog?

All dog owners are subject to the terms and conditions of the Dog Control Act of 1996 and must register their dogs with their local Council when they are three months old.

Once the registration fee is received, your dog will be issued with a tag which must be worn by the dog at all times. The registration tag belongs to the dog, not the owner.

What is the Dog Maintenance Form used for?

Please fill in this form to notify us of the following:

  • A change of owner
  • If your dog has died
  • For all dog registration fee refund requests
  • If your dog is located at a new physical address
  • If your dog no longer resides in the Thames-Coromandel District

This form can be downloaded from the 'download box' on this page.

How much does it cost to register my dog?

Registration fees are set annually. See the Dog Registration and Fees section for current fees.

When do I have to pay the registration?

Payment is required by 31 July. If you do not pay your registration fees by the due date, a penalty fee will be added.

What can happen if I don't pay?

What does my registration pay for?

The cost of the following dog control functions is met through dog registration and infringement fees (50%) and the rest is met from the overall district rate (50%).

  • Ensuring that all dogs are registered
  • Responding to reports of dog attacks and complaints about barking and stray animals
  • Providing shelter services - impoundment of stray dogs and reuniting dogs with their owners
  • Rehoming of dogs
  • Enforcing compliance, issuing infringements and patrolling beaches and parks
  • Prosecuting of serious dog-related offences (under the Dog Control Act)

What is microchipping?

A microchip carries a number unique to your dog. This is very similar to a supermarket barcode. A microchip is a transponder, which means it responds to a scanner. It is not a transmitter and has no power source.

The microchip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. The procedure is as simple as a vaccination.

In addition to Veterinary clinics our dog control officers provide a cost effective microchip service. Contact us for more information.


Which dogs have to be microchipped?

  • Dogs classified as dangerous or menacing.
  • Dogs impounded unregistered or dogs impounded more than once.
  • Dogs being registered for the first time after 1 July 2006 excluding working stock dogs. 

If my dog was registered prior to the July 2006 law (which states that all newly registered dogs need to be microchipped), can I still get my dog microchipped?

Yes, there are many dogs already microchipped by caring owners. Please talk to your vet for more information.

What are the benefits of microchipping?

If your dog is lost, stolen or has escaped and strayed, it can easily be identified. If your dog is stolen, it can be traced anywhere if it is scanned. Every dog which is the subject of a complaint and every impounded dog will be scanned.

What happens if a microchip is not put in properly and cannot be scanned?

It is important the microchip is inserted in accordance with the regulations. Dog owners should ensure the person microchipping their dog is familiar with the regulations.

 Once my dog is microchipped, will I have to register it?

Yes, microchipping will not replace dog registration. You will still have to register your dog every year.

Where can I exercise my dog?

See our Dog Exercise Areas and Beach Restriction section for more information on available exercise areas for your dog.

What happens at the dog pound?

We maintain a pound where lost, stray and abandoned dogs are kept. Dogs not claimed within seven days will be rehomed or if not considered suitable for rehoming may be destroyed. Pound staff and the SPCA will consider all dogs for a second-chance home.

Registered dogs wearing their tag can be reunited with their owner quickly, sometimes without the need for the dog to go to the pound.

What happens to unclaimed dogs?

Dogs are temperament tested so that suitable dogs are available for adoption. We work with the S.P.C.A and other recognised adoption agencies to ensure happy placements.

Thames SPCA
Totara Rd (airport entrance), Thames
Phone : 07 868 6830     

What do Dog Control Officers do?

Our Officers attend complaints about uncontrolled dogs, attacks on people or animals, getting into rubbish, barking etc and they also carry out regular patrols. There is a 24-hour emergency service for life threatening situations.

How does the Council check dogs are registered?

In the course of daily patrol activities Dog Control Officers look out for un-registered dogs which they can identify by way of dog registration tags. From time to time they may also conduct 'property surveys' to check for un-registered dogs.