Dog reg­is­tra­tion goes on­line

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil plans to place com­puter kiosks at its ser­vice cen­tres to help peo­ple get the hang of the new on­line dog reg­is­tra­tion ser­vice, which started this week.

As of Sun­day new dogs to the dis­trict and pup­pies over three months of age could be reg­is­tered on­line, us­ing the ser­vices of Reg the Dog.

How­ever, the coun­cil had al­lowed ‘‘plenty of lead-in time’’ for any fa­mil­iar­ity is­sues, prior to dog reg­is­tra­tion re­newals on July 1 this year, Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions co­or­di­na­tor Maria de Cort said.

Dur­ing May and June, com­puter kiosks would be set up at coun­cil ser­vice cen­tres, with staff on hand to help guide cus­tomers through the reg­is­tra­tion process, she said.

How­ever, Reg the Dog’s takeover of dog reg­is­tra­tions from VetEnt Alexan­dra, which had pro­vided the ser­vice to the coun­cil for 20 years, was of con­cern to VetEnt South Is­land gen­eral manager Paul Fitz­patrick.

The on­line ser­vice could re­sult in fewer dog reg­is­tra­tions be­cause it would re­move much of the face-to-face con­tact be­tween the reg­is­tra­tion agency and dog owner that peo­ple had be­come ac­cus­tomed to.

‘‘The chal­lenge will be, how will we ever know about un­reg­is­tered and un­known dogs when there’s not con­stant con­tact. That was some­thing that the Cen­tral Otago staff did par­tic­u­larly well, be­cause they are talk­ing to farm­ers and dog own­ers all the time. An on­line sys­tem com­pletely re­lies on dog own­ers vol­un­tar­ily en­ter­ing the in­for­ma­tion.’’

As of May 2014, Cen­tral Otago had 5678 reg­is­tered dogs and 2925 own­ers.

Kaik­oura Dis­trict Coun­cil, which was the first lo­cal author­ity to use Reg the Dog in New Zealand, had seen fewer reg­is­tra­tions since the on­line ser­vice was in­tro­duced two years ago, dog con­trol of­fi­cer Ian Wood­ward said.

A coun­cil dog reg­is­tra­tion re­port for the year end­ing June 30 2014, the first full year the new sys­tem was in place, showed 1001 reg­is­tered dogs com­pared with 1133 dogs in 2013, and 1020 dogs in 2012.

How­ever, the coun­cil’s cus­tomer ser­vices of­fi­cer Joanna Hen­ley said there had been a few teething prob­lems at the be­gin­ning. Now that the sys­tem was work­ing more smoothly, on­line reg­is­tra­tion had re­duced the coun­cil’s work­load, she said.

Photo: MARY-JO TO­HILL

Dogs on­line: Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil has in­tro­duced an on­line dog reg­is­tra­tion this week. Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil’s plan­ning and en­vi­ron­ment ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cer Sue de Jong and her dog Archie take a walk through the new sys­tem.

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