Doggone it, that’s expensive
The cost of those tags varies greatly, writes Virginia Fallon.
Oscar, Cotton and Diesel are three pricey pups. Porirua City, where the trio live, is the country’s most expensive place to register a dog and owner John Holmes isn’t happy about that.
Porirua tops the national list at $126 for yearly registration, compared to $30 in Southland.
To find the priciest pups and cheapest canines, the Sunday StarTimes asked local authorities what owners fork over for Rover.
We compared them on various areas, starting with the cost of a desexed dog registered before July 31.
Porirua City Council manager of environmental standards Jim Sutton said the fees went towards services such as owner education, dog control and rehoming unwanted dogs.
He said the city had the highest percentage of desexed dogs in the country and the second-highest percentage of microchipped, registered dogs.
All urgent requests to animal control received a response within two hours and the council was consulting on the need for dog parks.
But Holmes would prefer a drop in fees or a switch to a ‘‘user pays’’ system. ‘‘Bad owners should pay more,’’ he said.
Porirua’s fee was only a dollar higher than Wellington City’s, but Dominic Godfrey doesn’t begrudge paying the country’s secondhighest fee.
‘‘It’s still expensive but considering what we get for itm it does make it less painful.’’
In areas that offered both an urban and a rural registration price, we used the amount for the city lickers.
Councils were asked how much it costs to register an aid/mobility dog, the cost of a replacement registration tag and how many, if any, fully fenced, dog exclusive parks they offered.
Fees varied widely around New Zealand’s largest cities.
Wellington had the highest registration fees at $125 and charged $11 for a tag. Dog owners in the capital have the choice of two parks.
Christchurch came in the lowest at $80. Tags are free in the Garden City, which offers four dog walking parks.
Dunedin was the only local authority to charge for mobility dogs, asking $20 to cover administration costs.
Central Hawkes Bay was the most expensive at $95 but a spokeswoman said it was a ‘‘historical’’ charge and would be reviewed in the long-term plan.
When it came to dog parks, Dunedin leads the pack with eight, Waikato has seven and Auckland just four.
Wellington SPCA care manager Nick Taylor said the organisation would like to see registration time changed from winter to summer.
The number of dogs surrendered to the centre peaked around registration time but entirely to blame.
‘‘We see almost exclusively dogs under 18 months who aren’t getting enough exercise because of the weather and becoming a bit destructive.
‘‘Maybe the registration is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.’’ fees weren’t
John Holmes with Diesel, Cotton and Oscar on Titahi Bay Beach in Porirua, where dog registration is the highest in the country.
Muriwai Beach, where a kitesurfer was found dead yesterday.