Council & City

Preferred owner scheme

The preferred owner scheme offers a reduced dog registration fee to people who qualify as responsible dog owners.

Who qualifies as a responsible dog owner?

You have to meet all criteria to qualify for preferred owner status:

  • You’ve been a registered dog owner in New Zealand for at least 12 months before applying
  • You always register your dog on time (ie, no later than 1 August)
  • You pass a written test of your dog knowledge that shows you understand your responsibilities as a dog owner (the test is included in the application form)
  • An animal control officer approves your dog’s fencing, sleeping quarters and exercise space
  • You haven’t had more than one dog impounded or found roaming in the last 12 months
  • We’ve received no more than one substantiated complaint about your dog or dogs in the last 12 months

Apply to be a preferred owner

Complete the application form below and return it to our customer service centre on the Square along with the $60 application fee. Please note, you don’t need to reapply each year – you remain a preferred owner as long as you continue to meet the criteria.

What happens next?

Our animal control team will review your application. If you qualify, we’ll then inspect your property to ensure your dog has adequate shelter, access to fresh clean drinking water and so on. You won’t necessarily have to be home for this.

We’ll contact you to confirm whether or not your application is successful.

If successful, we’ll reward you with a reduced dog registration fee next year and in successive years.

Remaining a preferred owner

You remain a preferred owner as long as you continue to meet the criteria. If you shift, please let us know within 14 days of moving – we’ll need to inspect your new property.