Local Regulations and Licences

Dog registration and payment

You must register your dog by 1 July every year or before your puppy is three months old.

It is the your responsibility to ensure your dog is correctly registered with the Council. Not only is it part of being a responsible dog owner, it is a legal requirement.

All dogs must wear a current registration tag to ensure they can be identified. If your dog is found without the correct registration tag, it will be deemed unregistered.

Dog registration guidelines

  • Only one person can be the registered owner of a dog
  • To be a registered owner of a dog you must be at least 16 years old
  • The annual registration period is from 1 July to 30 June (expiry date is on the registration tag)
  • Registration fees must be paid before 1 August each year
  • The registration fee may be reduced if your dog is desexed and microchipped, and you are a preferred owner under the Preferred Owner Scheme who has not been prosecuted or received any infringements
  • If you fail to register your dog before 1 August each year your dog may be seized and impounded and you may be fined $300 or prosecuted
  • You can only keep one unspayed female dog on your property
  • If you wish to have more than two dogs, you are required to consult with your neighbours and receive Council permission.
    Apply for permission to keep more than two dogs [opens online form]. Or print out the application form at the bottom of this page and return the completed form to the Council

Dog registrations

All dogs over three months old must be registered. It is an offence to keep an unregistered dog. You may be fined $300 for failing to register the dog, or your dog may be seized.

If you are new to Palmerston North or have a new dog, you need to register it immediately or before it reaches three months of age.

The annual registration period runs from 1 July to 30 June the following year. Registering a new dog at other times of the year is on a pro-rata basis.

Each dog should be registered at the address it spends the majority of its time, in the city or district in which it is normally kept.

Dogs moving into town will receive free registration if the owner produces proof of current registration from another council.

Once your dog is registered with Palmerston North City Council, you will receive an annual reminder (sent to your last known address) to register your dog(s). It is your responsibility to notify us of any changes to your contact details. Not receiving the reminder does not validate late registration.

Dog reregistration (renewal)

If your dog(s) are registered with Palmerston North City Council, your registration tag will expire on 30 June each year. All dog registration fees need to be paid by 1 August. After this date you will cease to receive a discount.

Renewal forms are sent early June each year. Please contact Council if you don't receive your renewal form. Remember, it is your responsibility to ensure your dog is registered annually.

Dog registration fees from 1 July 2016

We charge a fixed fee to cover the standard cost of registering your dog. This fee is discounted if you pay before 1 August. You may be charged more if Council staff need to carry out an inspection or other additional work. All fees include GST.

Work type Discounted fee if paid by
1 August 2016
Standard fee if paid after
1 August 2016
General registration $128 $193
General registration (desexed dog) $95 $143
Preferred owner $84 $126
Preferred owner (desexed dog)    $74 $111
Rural non-Working $69 $103
Rural non-Working (desexed dog)    $58 $88
Rural working    $40 $60
Disability assist nil nil
Certified for use by a specified agency    nil nil

What does my dog registration pay for?

Your dog registration pays for the Council to monitor and enforce the Dog Control Act 1996 and ensure compliance with local dog control bylaws and policies. Our Animal Control team investigate and respond to all reported dog complaints and incidents.

Promoting better care and control of Palmerston North's 8,000 dogs

  • Providing a quality service to the community
  • Encouraging responsible dog ownership
  • Protecting dog owner's rights to own a dog by dealing with dog related problems
  • Providing dog owners with education on dealing with dog related problems

Promoting community safety

  • Dealing with aggressive and roaming dogs
  • Dealing with irresponsible owners
  • Patrolling Public Areas - reserves, parks, sports fields and the wider PNCC area
  • Preferred owner scheme for responsible dog owners

Responding to dog complaints

  • Animal nuisances
  • Roaming dogs
  • Lost and found dogs
  • Dog rushes and attacks
  • Barking dogs

Maintaining national dog database records

Microchipping was introduced for two reasons. It enables a dog to be linked to its owner, so if it is lost or stolen, both dog and owner can be identified and reunited. A microchip can also clearly identify a dog which has been aggressive and classified as dangerous or menacing. This is especially important as it renders owners unable to disguise their dog's identify.

The registration information about your dog goes onto a national register and this helps in the location and identification of owners in the case of wandering, lost or stolen dogs. It also helps keep track of dogs who have changed owners or districts, or who have a history of complaints.

Maintaining the dog pound

All impounded dogs are provided with adequate food, water, shelter and exercise.

Register your dog online

Create an online account to:

  • Register as a new dog owner
  • View all dogs currently registered to you
  • Add one or more new dogs
  • View and pay any dog registration fees owing
  • Update the location of all dogs registered to you
  • Advise us if a dog registered to you has died and request a refund of any residual dog registration fees
  • Request a replacement dog tag if the previous tag has been lost
  • Transfer ownership of a dog to another person within our district
  • Update your online profile and the contact details we use to communicate with you

First you need to create an online account in the name of the legal dog owner. These details will be used to communicate with you about any changes or payments you submit online. If you are entering microchipping or neutering details you will need to scan and upload the relevant certificate(s).

By using our online services you are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions and are bound by them. If you disagree with any part of the terms and conditions, you must immediately discontinue using our online services.

Enter online services [opens secure site in a new window]

Other ways to register your dog

Visit our Customer Service Centre in the Square to register your dog in person, or call us on 06 356 8199 to register by phone.

Dog registration payment

Dog registration should not be paid until application to register forms are sent out to owners. This is to ensure you are paying the correct fee. The applications are sent out in the first week of June each year.

Pay online

Pay now with your Visa or MasterCard

Please note, we charge a surcharge of 1.3% per transaction to cover our reasonable costs in providing this online credit/debit card service. This fee is calculated prior to payment being submitted and is included in the total transaction amount. Payments made after 10pm will be processed the next working day. Before you can make an online payment, you must first agree to our Terms and Conditions.

Pay by internet banking

Make your payment to Westpac account 03-0726-0330770-00

Please ensure you provide the correct particulars, analysis code and reference (see below). Failure to do so could result in the payment being unidentified and further steps taken to retrieve payment. It is your responsibility to ensure the payment is correctly referenced.

  • Particulars: dog ID number
  • Analysis code: "DogRego"
  • Reference: owner ID number

For payments from overseas bank accounts, the swift code is WPACNZ2W

Other payment options

You can also pay your dog registration in person or by mail. Please note we are unable to accept credit card payments over the counter at our Customer Service Centre or by phone.