Doggone it

Last week, concerned dog owners took to social media to express their anger over what they viewed as unfair actions by Waikato District Council (WDC) dog control officers.

Examples included: dogs about to be snatched from their kennels, overzealous rangers, and one person who was looking to move to an area in the Waikato, but was now worried their dog could be taken.

Feeling fearful for “man’s best friend”, we thought it best to contact the WDC directly to get a doggone straight answer.

We gave the following scenario to WDC, which reflects some of the concerns posted on social media:

“I live in the  WDC area and I own a  dog, which I’ve registered. No complaints have  been made about my dog roaming around or causing a nuisance. I am home, my property is fenced, and my dog  is roaming freely in my fenced property.”

“Under WDC bylaws or other applicable rules, am I at risk of WDC dog control officers coming to my property and taking my dog?”

“Do WDC say I have to have my dog tied up or in a run in the above mentioned scenario?”

WDC Animal Control Team Leader, Megan May, responded as follows:

“In regards to your scenario, there would be no need for an Animal Control Officer to enter your property in this situation.

An officer would have no power to enter a property if a dog is registered, contained to its property in a manner so that it cannot freely leave (such as adequate fencing), has not been the subject of a complaint in the previous six months and is compliant with any classifications that have been imposed on it.”

Note: Any dog classified as “dangerous”, is subject to higher containment requirements.

So there we have it. Sound fair enough? What are your thoughts? Email:


 If you are  concerned about treatment by dog control officers, council encourage you to make contact. Don’t be shy.


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