Jack Russell puppies behind a fence


In the Gore District there were 3328 registered dogs in 2017/18.

Guidelines to owning a dog

Register online

If your dog is impounded

All dogs must be registered from the age of three months, and they must also be microchipped within two months of being registered if they were born after 1 July 2006.

The Council is responsible for ensuring dogs are registered and can issue infringement notices to owners who fail to do so. Our animal control team follow up on any complaints about excessive barking, aggressive behaviour or dogs wandering.                                        

The Council has a two dog limit per property unless                        

  • The owner has a permit to keep three or more dogs, or
  • The dogs are under three months of age, or
  • The property where the dogs live is zoned rural

There maybe times you will be issued with an infringement notice because of your dog's behaviour. If you feel there is a genuine reason, please tell us. You can either contact our dog control team, phone 209 0330, or use our dog infringement explanation form [PDF, 115 KB].

Annual dog control report 2017 / 2018

The total number of registered dogs in the Gore District as at 30 June 2018 was 3328. A third of these dogs are pets living in the urban areas of the Gore District.

The Council employs one full time officer and two part time officers. One part time officer covers the night shift and one weekend in three, while the second part time officer covers one weekend in three. The third weekend is covered by the full time officer.

Public safety related complaints

  • Minor dog attacks on people - 5
  • Serious dog attacks on people - 0
  • Dog attacks on other animals - 3

Dog control enforcement practices

During the year under review the Council received 21 formal safety related complaints in regard to the behaviour of dogs and/or their owners. Of the complaints received, five concerned dog attacks on people. All the complaints were the subject of an investigation and action to address the concerns of the complainants was implemented.

The Council is still finding that more dogs are not being claimed by their owners, after being impounded. This appears to be due to the cost of registering/microchipping the dogs and the cost of impounding fees which are required to be paid by the Council in full before the dogs can be released. These dogs are rehomed if they are of suitable temperament usually through Furever Homes in Invercargill; otherwise they are taken to the vet for euthanisation.

During the year a total of 19 infringement notices were issued. Council representatives visited dog owners in the area reminding them to register their dogs before the due date but unfortunately dog owners did not always heed the warnings given, forcing the Council to issue infringement notices for non-registration.

The Council offers a payment plan to dog owners struggling to find the payment in full and more people seem to be taking advantage of this.

The Council takes a vigilant approach in regard to non-registration of dogs. Staff put a concerted effort into clamping down on unregistered dogs in the District, especially in the Mataura area where wandering and unregistered dogs seem to be an ongoing problem. More regular patrols are carried out in Mataura which appears to have made a positive difference with wandering dogs in the area.  

Menacing and dangerous dogs

In the year under review, three dogs in the Gore district were classified by the Council dangerous and three were classified as menacing after complaints were received from residents regarding dog attacks and aggressive behaviour.

In other cases reported to the Council, warnings were issued to the owners or the owners had the dogs euthanized. There are currently 17 dogs in the district classified as menacing under Section 33C (by breed) of the Dog Control Act 1996 and under Section 33A (by behaviour) and seven classified as dangerous under Section 31(1)(b). 

  As at 30 June 2017
Total # of registered dogs 3328
Total # probationary owners 0
Total # disqualified owners  1
Total # dangerous dogs  7
Dangerous by owner conviction under s33(1)(a)  0
Dangerous by sworn evidence under s31(1)(b)  7
Dangerous by owner admittance in writing under s31(1)(c)  0
Total # menacing dogs  17
Menacing under s33A(1)(b)(i) – ie by behaviour  10
Menacing under s33A(1)(b)(ii) – ie by breed characteristics  0
Menacing under s33C(1) – ie schedule breed  7
Total # infringement notices 19
Total # prosecutions taken 0
Dog attack on stock (worrying sheep) 4
Dog rushing 9
Roaming dogs reported by public (including registered dogs that are found) 284
People’s dogs that are reported lost/found 126
Barking 138


The full report can be found on the August 22 Regulatory and Planning Committee meeting agenda.

If you have any queries please phone us on 0800 467 332 or 03 209 0330, and ask for the dog control officer. They are happy to call and discuss any query or problem.

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: