Kāpiti Community: Captain Buddy at the helm.
Annual dog registration is now open at Kāpiti Coast District Council. Between now and 31 July, Council is asking its 6,000 plus dog owners to register their dogs, switching out the yellow collar tags, to new blue ones.
Public Spaces Animal Management Team Leader, Lee Greedus, says owning a dog comes with many obligations and responsibilities. One of those obligations is registering your dog with us each year.
"We know that dog registration can feel like a bit of an onerous task but it's an important one. The information we, and all local Councils, are legally required to collect goes straight to the national dog control information database," Mr Greedus says.
"The registration fees are critical too, they help us to ensure local dogs are cared for properly by their owners and help keep our communities safe."
Dog registration fees go towards a number of Council services including a seven-day Animal Management service and a 24-hour emergency response service for urgent dog control complaints.
"While most dog owners love their dogs dearly, they're not always aware of their responsibilities or the level of care required to properly look after a dog. It's our job to investigate complaints and continually promote the welfare, care and control of dogs in our communities.
"In some instances, for personal reasons, owners may relinquish their dog to us. We then, along with other animal rehome agencies, work to find happy homes for these dogs. This is one of the best parts of our job.
"A few years back, a dog named Buddy was relinquished to us. When we first met Buddy we didn't know much about him, not even his age or breed. All we knew is that there had been a couple of complaints about him and that he wasn't a fan of cats. Despite these things, a colleague of mine was drawn to him. After a trial walk along the beach, my colleague and her daughter decided Buddy was for them. Three years on, we now know a whole lot more about Buddy - he's a lovely natured dog, a big fan of boating and swimming in the river, and interestingly, after a little bit of work, he now happily coexists with a cat."
Mr Greedus says that while there are certainly a lot of dog lovers here in Kāpiti, he's aware that not everyone enjoys dogs. His team works hard to ensure community spaces are for everyone.
"Registration fees help us to ensure dog owners are following the rules contained in the 2019 Dog Control Bylaw, 2019 Dog Control Policy and the Dog Control Act 1996," says Mr Greedus. "I encourage all local dog owners to familiarise themselves with these documents as they have everything you need to know about owning a dog in Kāpiti. They include some of the trickier bits, like where you can and can't go with your dog off leash. For example, not everyone knows that dog friendly areas on our beaches change seasonally."
"We do our best to make dog registration as simple as possible, so that people avoid penalties for late registration. This year, dog owners can register online and we will post tags to them, or they can pop into any of our service centres.
"We encourage people to visit our website for more information and to call us if you have yet to receive your renewal information in the mail."
Dog owners are required by law to register any dog, over three months of age, by 5pm 31 July 2020. For more information, visit the Council website https://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/dogs