We love our dogs: ruff stats

Furry friends . . . Dunedin dog owner Reece Smith is grateful he is eligible for a registration fee reduction. Mr Smith is pictured with (clockwise from top) Vapor, Sonic, Flash, Sprint, and Risk. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE

Dunedin has about one dog for every seven people, the latest registrations figures show.

There were 17,691 canines registered with the Dunedin City Council as of August 30, but a further 1460 were unaccounted for.

DCC animal services team leader Peter Hanlin said the number of registered dogs in the greater Dunedin area had continued to rise by at least 5% per annum for the past five years.

Mr Hanlin was pleased with the response by dog owners to this year’s registration process.

“It was good to see that we had a lot more online registrations this year,” he said.

Due to the July floods, the council offered an extended grace period to August 30 for late registrations.

More than 98% of dog owners in the city had registered their dogs on time. There were 1460 dogs not re-registered from last year.

“Those are the ones we know about and we will soon be chasing their owners up with late penalty fees adding to their costs,” Mr Hanlin said.

It costs $99 to register a non-working dog per year and late penalties can cost up to $300.

Any dog aged over 3 months must be registered with the DCC.

Of the 17,691 dogs registered with the DCC, 3811 have selected owner status, 1211 are listed as working dogs and 40 are categorised as special dogs which covers police and medical assistance dogs.

Reece Smith, a dog agility trainer and owner of five dogs, said it was definitely worth it to become a selected owner, as it reduced the yearly costs by about 40%. However, dog owners must adhere to strict condition to achieve that status.

“If your dogs are well behaved, you have a well-fenced section, no complaints or none have been impounded, then I do recommend it,” Mr Smith said.

It dropped his fees to a total of $252 per year for the five.