The purpose of this chapter is to promote public safety and the effective regulation of dogs within the Waimate District. The review of this chapter is made pursuant to the powers set out in the Local Government Act 2002 and also the Dog Control Act 1996 (including amendments) hereafter referred to as “the Act” in this chapter. This chapter has effect from 4 December 2018.
Keeping of Dogs
601 Registration and Micro-chipping
(1) All dogs must be registered with Council after they are three months of age, and dog owners must ensure the ongoing annual registration of their dog(s) as required under section 36 of the Act.
(2) Dogs are required to be micro-chipped in the following circumstances:
(a) All dogs first registered on or after 1 July 2006 (except working dogs as defined in section 36A (2A) of the Act which are exempt);
(b) All dogs classified as dangerous or menacing dogs within two months from the date of classification, or prior to release if impounded;
(c) All registered dogs impounded and released by the local authority for the second time;
(d) Unregistered dogs that are impounded and released to the owner.
(3) A vet or a trained microchip inserter must carry out any micro-chipping of a dog.
(4) The owner must provide verification that the dog has been micro-chipped at the time of registration.
602 Control of Dogs
Under effective control means that the dog is not causing a nuisance or danger, that the dog is under continuous surveillance by the person in charge of the dog, and the person in charge of the dog is able to obtain the desired response from the dog by use of a leash or by use of voice commands, hand signals, whistles or other effective means, when not on a leash.
(1) Those taking dogs out in public are required to use (or carry) a leash at all times and to use a leash in controlled areas.
(2) Dogs that have been classified as Dangerous Dogs or Menacing Dogs under the Act must be leashed and muzzled when in public. If the owner allows the dog to be in the possession of another person, the owner of any such Dangerous or Menacing dogs must advise that person of these requirements.
(3) Dog owners must ensure at all times that, when their Dog is on their property it is either;
(a) under the direct and effective control of an appropriate person; or
(b) confined in such a manner that it cannot freely leave the property and/or cause a nuisance to any other person.
(4) Dog owners must fully comply with their obligations under:
(a) the Act; and
(b) the Waimate Dog Control Policy; and
(c) the Dog Control Bylaw.
603 Dog Welfare
(1) No person, being the owner or person in possession of any dog shall neglect that dog so that it suffers unreasonable or unnecessary pain, suffering or distress.
(2) Dog owners must comply fully with their obligations under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and section 5 of the Act.
604 Removal of Faeces
Dogs fouling in public places is not only unpleasant and a nuisance to the public, but is also unhygienic, causing a recognised health risk to people and other animals.
(1) The owner or any person in possession of a dog that defecates in a public place or private way or on land or premises other than that occupied by the owner shall immediately remove or cause to be removed the faeces left by the dog.
(2) The owner or any person in possession of a dog must carry a suitable receptacle to accommodate dog faeces at all times when in public places.
(3) Where a public litter bin or similar receptacle is used to dispose of the faeces, they must be suitably wrapped or contained to prevent such receptacle from being fouled.
(4) Failure of the dog owner or any person in possession of the dog to clean up after the dog can result in an infringement notice being issued in respect of this Bylaw.
605 Minimum Standards for Accommodation of Dogs
(1) Dog owners are obliged to ensure that their dog(s) receives proper care and attention and is supplied with proper and sufficient food, water and shelter, and that they receive adequate exercise.
(2) Council will educate owners and where necessary use enforcement techniques to encourage dog owners to comply with the current recommended welfare requirements for their dogs.
(3) Every dog owner must provide suitable housing or kennelling for their dog(s) which:
(a) is weatherproof, dry, clean and gives the dog adequate space, warmth and shade; and
(b) is situated in a position that does not cause a nuisance to any person.
(4) The Animal Control Officer shall have discretion to determine what is reasonable housing or kennelling.
(5) Dog Owners (excluding NZKC registered breeders or any approved property used for the business of dog boarding kennels) may apply for a permit to accommodate more than two dogs over the age of three months on an urban property (as defined in Appendix 4 of the Bylaw).
(6) A permit will be required to accommodate more than two working dogs over the age of three months on an urban zoned property (as defined in Appendix 4 of the Bylaw).
606 Dogs kept at a Minimum Distance from Boundary
Should any nuisance condition arise from a dog being housed, confined or restrained on any private premises within three metres of the boundary of the premises the owner may, by formal notice be required to relocate the dog at a distance not less than three metres from any boundary.
607 Bitch in Season to be Confined
The owner or person in charge of any bitch must keep the dog confined but adequately exercised while she is in season.
608 Containment at Night
The owner or the person in charge of any dog(s) shall at all times during the hours of darkness keep such dog(s) tied up or confined within an enclosure or building so that it shall not be at large.
609 Diseased Dogs
Every dog owner must ensure that any dog known to be infected with a contagious disease is contained on his or her land or premises in such a manner that it cannot freely leave the land or premises other than when being transported to a registered veterinary clinic for treatment.
610 Neutering of Dogs
(1) Every dog classified by Council as Dangerous under section 31 of the Act, or any dog so classified as Dangerous, which is transferring to the Waimate District, is required to be neutered within one month of notification.
(2) All dogs over the age of three months and classified as Menacing must be neutered within one month of notification as per the provisions of section 33E of the Act, or any dog classified as menacing which is transferring to the Waimate District is required to be neutered within one month of notification
(3) Where a dog classified as Dangerous or Menacing by breed and is required to be neutered, the Owner shall be notified in writing of the requirement. The notice shall specify the date by which the dog shall be neutered, being not less than one month from the issue of the notice. The notice shall be served on the Owner in accordance with the Act, and shall contain details on rights of appeal.
(4) An extension to the timeframe required for neutering a dog may be considered by the Compliance and Regulatory Group Manager, upon receipt of written notice from a Vet in the following circumstances:
(a) A bitch is in season; and/or
(b) A condition has been identified rendering it unsafe to operate on the dog.
611 Dogs becoming a nuisance or injurious to Health
(1) The owner of any dog and the owner or the occupier of any premises on which any dog or dogs are kept shall take adequate precautions to prevent the dog or dogs from becoming a nuisance.
(2) If, in the opinion of an Animal Control Officer or his/her agent, the keeping of any dog or dogs on a premises is, or is likely to become, a nuisance or injurious or hazardous to health, property or safety, the Animal Control Officer may, by notice in writing, require the Owner or Occupier of the premises, within the time specified in such notice, not being less than two weeks, to do all or any of the following:
(a) To reduce the number of dogs kept on the premises;
(b) To alter, reconstruct or otherwise improve the accommodation for dogs;
(c) To require such dogs to be tied up or otherwise confined by appropriate fencing as determined by the Animal Control Officer;
(d) To take other precautions as may be considered necessary;
(3) Where a dog is considered to be causing a nuisance through persistent and loud barking or howling an Animal Control Officer will instigate ‘Barking Dog Procedures’ which may result in the issue of an Abatement Notice requiring the owner to make such reasonable provisions to stop the nuisance. Where such an offence is not complied with this may result in the Animal Control Officer removing the dog from the land or premise.
612 Dogs Biting Persons
In all cases where the victim of a dog bite was going about their lawful business the Waimate District Council may instigate legal action as per section 57 of the Act against the dog owner or person in charge of the dog at the time of the offence. A written or sworn statement is required from the complainant.
613 Dogs Attacking or Rushing
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the same approach as in ‘Dogs Biting Persons’ shall apply for investigating incidents of dogs attacking or rushing. The dog may be declared a Menacing dog or a Dangerous dog unless the dog had offended in a similar manner previously in which case a destruction order may be requested from the Court pursuant to section 57A of the Act.
614 Dogs in Vehicles
(1) No person shall keep or leave any dog(s) in a motor vehicle unless the dog(s) is securely confined within that vehicle so as not to constitute a nuisance or endanger any person, and the dog(s) shall not become overheated or dehydrated through lack of ventilation.
(2) No person shall allow any dog(s) to ride or remain in the open tray of a vehicle unless it is under tight control by a chain, rope, wire, cage or other device, to prevent the dog(s) from falling from the vehicle. The dog(s) shall be adequately secured to prevent it from being a nuisance, or endangering any person.
Dog Access Restrictions in Public Places
615 General Controls
(1) Subject to the exceptions described in clauses (2), (3) and (4) below, no Owner or Responsible Person of any dog shall cause or permit the dog to be in any Prohibited dog area, declared by resolution of Council and as indicated in Appendix 3 of this chapter.
(2) A dog on a leash and under continuous control may pass through a Prohibited dog area when used as a thoroughfare and no other reasonable access exists to an area where a dog may be exercised.
(3) Within a Designated off-leash dog exercise area, including those areas declared by resolution of Council and listed in Appendix 2 of this chapter, the Owner or Responsible Person of a dog shall ensure that the dog is under effective control at all times as described at 602.
(4) The following dogs are exempt from the prohibitions identified in Appendix 3 of this chapter:
(a) Bona-fide Guide dogs;
(b) Certified Hearing Ear dogs;
(c) Companion dogs (certified by the Top Dog Companion Trust);
(d) Any dogs belonging to a “specified agency” pursuant to section 2 of the Act e.g. Police dogs;
(e) Dogs being used by Security guards;
(f) Dogs securely confined in or on a vehicle;
(g) Working Dogs (as defined under the Act).
Classification of Dog Owners and Their Dogs
616 Selected Owner Status
Dog owners who meet the criteria as set out in the Dog Control Policy may apply to Council to have “Selected Owner” status.
617 Three or More Dogs
Dog Owners (excluding NZKC registered breeders or any approved property used for the business of dog boarding kennels) may apply for a permit to accommodate more than two dogs over the age of three months on an urban zoned property (as defined in the Appendix 4 of the Waimate District Council Bylaw).
618 Disqualified Dog Owners
(1) Pursuant to the Act, the Council must disqualify a person from owning a dog if that person commits three or more infringement offences (not relating to a single incident) within a continuous period of 24 months; or the person is convicted of an offence (not being an infringement offence) against the Act; or the person is convicted of an offence against the Animal Welfare Act, Conservation Act or the National Parks Act. However, this does not apply if Council is satisfied the disqualification is not warranted or instead classifies the person as a probationary owner.
(2) Disqualification may apply for up to five years from the date of the third infringement offence or other offences taking place.
(3) A disqualified owner;
(a) Must not be in possession of a dog for the period of disqualification; and
(b) Must dispose of every dog that he or she owns within 14 days from when notice of disqualification has been received.
(4) Disposal of a dog must be in accordance with the Act and not to any person living at the same address as the disqualified owner.
(5) The disqualified owner can lodge an objection within 14 days from when the notice of disqualification has been received
619 Probationary Dog Owners
(1) Where an owner is convicted of an offence under the Act or has received three infringement notices (not relating to a single incident or occasion) within 24 months, Council may classify that owner as a probationary owner for the period of 24 months. The probationary classification has the following effects:
(a) The owner is not allowed to own any dogs, other than any registered dogs owned at the time of the third offence;
(b) The owner must dispose of all other dogs within 14 days from when notice of probation is received.
(c) The probationary owner has the right to object to the classification. The Act sets out a number of matters whereby the two years probationary period can be reduced.
(2) The dog owner may be required to undertake approved education and obedience ………… courses at his or her own expense.
620 Dangerous Dogs
(1) The Council may declare any dog Dangerous under Section 31 of the Act if:
(a) the owner has been convicted of an attack offence under section 57A of the Act; or
(b) the Council, on the basis of sworn evidence attesting to aggressive behaviour by the dog on one or more occasions has reasonable grounds to believe that the dog constitutes a threat to the safety of any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife; or
(c) the owner admits in writing that the dog is a threat to the safety of any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife.
(2) Where any dog is classified as a Dangerous dog, the owner can lodge an objection within 14 days from when notice of that classification to the owner was received.
(3) A dog classified as Dangerous must be:
(a) on a leash and muzzled when in public; and
(b) neutered within one month of classification; and
(c) be implanted with a microchip within one month after classification or prior to release if impounded.
(d) kept in a fenced area that is separated to provide free access to at least one door of the dwelling house on the property.
(4) Dangerous dogs must not be sold or given away without the Council’s prior approval.
(5) If the owner of a Dangerous dog does not meet the requirements of the Act the Council may:
(a) seize and remove the dog from the person’s possession and retain custody until it can be demonstrated that compliance can be achieved; or
(b) seek a court order for fines and/or the destruction of the dog.
(6) A dog that is declared Dangerous by the Council will be subject to a 50% surcharge of the full dog registration fee.
(7) Any complaints of dog attacks causing serious injury will be referred to the Police as a criminal matter.
621 Menacing and Prohibited Dogs
(1) The Council may classify any dog as ‘Menacing’ under section 33A-F of the Act if:
(a) a dog is considered to pose a threat to any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife; and
(b) a dog has not been classified as Dangerous; and/or
(c) Council has reasonable grounds to believe that a dog belongs to, or is bred, wholly or predominantly from one of the five breeds or type listed in Schedule 4 of the Act.
(2) A dog classified as Menacing must;
(a) be on a leash and muzzled in a public place; and
(b) be implanted with a microchip within one month after classification or prior to release if impounded.
(3) The following type and/or breed of dog are classified as Menacing dogs under Schedule 4 of the Act:
(a) American Pit Bull Terrier
(b) Dogo Argentino
(c) Brazilian Fila
(d) Japanese Tosa
(e) Perro de Presa Canario.
(4) The Council requires any dog classified as Menacing to be neutered within one month’s notification as per the requirements of section 33E of the Act.
(5) It is unlawful to import any of the dogs listed in clause (3) above.
(6) If Council has reasonable grounds to believe that a dog belongs wholly or predominantly to one of the above breed / types listed above it must classify the dog as “Menacing”. Section 33E of the Act lists the full effects of the classification as “Menacing”.
622 Disability Assist Dogs
(1) Notwithstanding anything in this part of the Bylaw, any Disability Assist dog accompanying and assisting a person with a disability, or any person genuinely engaged in the dog’s training may enter and remain:
(a) in any Premises registered under regulations made pursuant to section 120 of the Health Act 1956; or
(b) in any Public Place:
subject to compliance with any reasonable condition imposed by the Occupier or person having control of the Premises or Public Place, as the case may be.
623 Working Dogs
Working dogs are defined in the Act (see Appendix 4 of this chapter for definition). In the Waimate District, working dogs that are kept solely or principally for the purposes, of herding stock are exempt from micro chipping requirements as per section 36A (2A) (not including farm pets.)
624 Seizure and Impoundment of Wandering Dogs
(1) Any dog found at large in any public place at any time in contravention of this Bylaw or any other Bylaw made by Council under any other Act, whether or not it is wearing a collar having the proper registration label or disc attached, may be seized and impounded by an Animal Control Officer.
(2) An Animal Control Officer may seize and impound any dog wandering freely at large in a public place in contravention of this Bylaw and in accordance with the powers contained in the Act.
(3) The provisions of section 69 of the Act shall apply to the impounding of any dog.
625 Release from the Pound
(1) It is an offence to attempt to unlawfully release a dog from a Council pound or to be in possession of a dog that has been unlawfully released from such a pound.
(2) Where a dog is claimed by its owner, the dog will not be released from the Pound until all fees and charges have been paid, and all other requirements in accordance with the Act and this Bylaw are met.
(3) The dog owner must satisfy an Officer that he or she is the rightful owner of the dog or has been duly authorised by the owner to act in that capacity.
(4) Where a dog is released from the Pound to a new owner, the new owner may be required to pay a standard release fee, but is also required to pay the cost of registration. The new owner must also agree to arrange and pay for the dog to be vaccinated, micro-chipped and neutered if appropriate.
(5) Council will not re-home directly or indirectly any dog classified as Dangerous or Menacing or any dog considered by Council Animal Control staff to pose a risk to public safety.
(6) No impounded dog will be released to an organisation for research purposes.
Every person commits an offence under this part of the Bylaw who fails, refuses or neglects to do anything required to be done, or does anything prohibited by this Bylaw, and is liable to:
(a) the penalty provisions of section 242 of the Local Government Act 2002; or
(b) any other penalty pursuant to the Act on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000; or
(c) be served with an infringement notice pursuant to section 66 of the Act.
The review of Chapter 6 “Control of Dogs” of the Waimate District Consolidated Bylaw 2018 was made by the Waimate District Council at a meeting of the Council held on 4 December 2018.