Izzy, my greyhound, is a responsible dog and I, according to the Christchurch City Council, am a responsible dog owner.
Her yellow tag this year denotes that she is registered with the Christchurch City Council for the 2019/20 year.
In our district, a Responsible Dog owner is one that has met these criteria:
- have been the registered owner of a dog and have resided in the Christchurch City Council district for at least 12 months
- have paid dog registration fees on or before 30 June for the last two years
- have all dogs micro-chipped in accordance with the Dog Control Act, including providing the microchip number to the Council
- have a licence to keep multiple dogs on their property (if applicable)
- inform the Council of any dog registration or residential address changes, including information on the death, sale, or transfer of any dogs, and including the birth of any pups.
The dog owner must have a property at which the dog resides that:
- is suitably fenced and gated to contain the dog
- allows dog-free access to a door of the dwelling for authorised callers.
The owner must have complied with the requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996 and the current Christchurch City Council Dog Control Bylaw, and must not, in the last two years, have:
- had a dog that has been found at large, been uncontrolled, or been chased, returned or impounded by Council Animal Management staff
- been issued with a warning notice or infringement notice for any dog-related offence
- been prosecuted for any dog-related offence.
My Responsible Dog Owner status qualifies me for substantial discounts for dog registration. Instead of $93.00 for the year, I paid $59.00.
While some properties can be configured for a dog-free access door, others may not. But that’s about the only criteria that I think should be difficult for owners to achieve. Having a dog is a luxury, not a right. And bringing a dog into your life means that you are prepared to invest the time and money to keep them healthy, happy and well-behaved.
And in Izzy’s opinion, being a Responsible Dog is also easy:
- walk on a lead with your owner or have excellent recall off-lead
- greet other dogs respectfully, regardless of their size
- don’t jump up for attention
- have your owner clean up after you
- move over when it is time to share the bed or sofa
- promote adoption because there are many dogs out there needing homes
- show unconditional love to the members of your family – they need it.
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand