Report a dog or stock issue

Report an animal issue

When there is a threat to animals or public safety contact us on 0800 492 452.

Animal Control responds as soon as possible to current issues related to:

  • dog attacking or biting
  • dog at large and rushing at people
  • dog distressed and in immediate danger
  • dog found wandering, secured by you for an Animal Management officer to collect
  • domesticated or farmed stock found wandering on the road or secured and needing to be removed.

If you are unsure please contact us and we'll help you work out what to do.

Report a barking dog 

If you find yourself being affected by persistent and loud barking or howling of a dog, there are few steps you can take to remedy the problem.

First - talk to the owner

More often or not the dog owners may not be aware that their dog may be creating a nuisance and appreciate being made aware and would look to remedy the problem. If you don't feel comfortable talking to the owner, you can leave a flier or a letter in their mailbox. With any luck, they'll be responsive to your concerns and willing to work with their dog and you to fix the problem, so you won't need to report them to us.  Alternatively, Animal Control staff can make intial contact with the dog owner to advise them of the problem.

Second - start a barking 'record' sheet before calling us

If the barking continues and you want to report it, we'll need you to complete a barking record sheet. We require detailed  recordings to indicate the level of nuisance, on a daily basis. The record sheet helps us to demonstrate that we have reasonable grounds to enter onto the dog owner's property. It also gives us possible patterns to help us identify the cause of the issue and therefore help us work out a solution with the dog owner. Without the schedule, or with insufficient detail, the complaint may not be substantiated and no further action can be taken.

How to report a barking dog

To report excessive dog barking and any other non-urgent animal control issues (or to enquire about any other general animal control-related matter), use our freephone 0800 492 452, email us or request a service.

Find out how to report urgent dog or animal issues and about dog attacks and aggression, including which breeds are classified as menacing by breed.

What we can do

If the dog is still creating a nuisance by persistent loud barking or howling, one of our animal control officers will assess the barking problem and offer advice to the dog owner for remedial actions. If the barking is still persistent or we receive further complaints, a barking survey will be carried out within the neighbourhood.

An officer can make a requirement of the dog owner specifying what must be done to fix the situation. In extreme cases, this can include a requirement to remove the dog. The dog owner can file an objection to the requirement and the Council will then hold a hearing to determine an outcome. The officer can also impose a $200 instant fine for the bylaw offence of allowing a dog to cause a nuisance. If further complaints are received, and a notice has not been complied with, the dog can be seized.

We prefer to resolve nuisance complaints through discussion, mediation and creative problem solving. Communication is the key - enforcement is a last resort.

Stock on roads 

Wandering livestock can pose a significant hazard on our roads and they have caused fatal accidents in our district. Their potential impact on the safety of our rural roads is an important issue as population growth and the increasing popularity of lifestyle blocks mean more people are using rural roads, often at faster speeds. Our Council and the Police work together to respond to livestock issues on our district's local roads as required.

Note - if you own straying stock which damage the roads or its roadsides - or if they contribute to an accident on the road, you will be liable for the costs associated with repairing any damage - and you may face criminal charges. The Council can also impound stock if they're found wandering where they shouldn't be.

Reporting stray livestock on roads

If you see livestock wandering on or obstructing the road (alive or dead), call us immediately to report it. Our animal control staff are available 24 hours a day - call our freephone 0800 492 452.

If the livestock incident is occurring on a state highway in the district, call the NZ Transport Agency freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).

Alternatively, for both local roads and state highways, you can call the Police on *555 from a mobile phone.

Stray stock on private property

If other people's stray stock come onto your private property, you'll need to be aware of the following:

Do you know the stock owner? If so, keep the stock on your land and notify the owner within 24 hours. You can do this personally or by delivering a written notice detailing what stock have trespassed and details of any trespass rates you wish to claim. Sometimes the owner of the land trespassed upon can claim damages from the owner of the stock instead of trespass rates. Refer to the Impounding Act 1955 or call or email our animal control staff for more information - freephone 0800 492 452.

You must feed and give all necessary care and attention to the stock while they are on your property.

If the stock are not claimed within 48 hours (or if you don't know who owns them), you must make arrangements to deliver the stock to the Council’s stock pound and advise our animal control staff about this. We'll then advertise the stock and if they're claimed, we'll recover all Council and landowner costs.

If stock are unclaimed, they'll be sold by public auction. The money will go towards Council and landowner costs first, any left over will remain available for the stock owner to collect within 12 months following the sale. However, often the amount raised doesn't end up covering the costs involved in dealing with the stray stock situation.

Apply to release impounded stock

If you do not know the stock owner or where the animals have come from, you can report them on private property or other non-road areas by calling our animal control staff on our freephone 0800 492 452 if it's urgent, or email us or request a service.

If your stock stray onto other people's private property you may be liable for any damage caused by the stock and any trespass and sustenance costs claimed by the owner of the property. If you need to claim impounded livestock, see our application to release impounded stock

You may also be liable for any costs that result from your stock being impounded incurred by the Council including:

  • Transportation to the stock pound.
  • Advertising.
  • Impounding fees.
  • Animal control officers’ time and mileage.
  • Grazing costs.
  • Necessary vet treatment etc.