A dog owner must apply for the status, and meet the following criteria.
The dog owner must:
- have been the registered owner of a dog and have resided in the Christchurch City Council district for at least 12 months
- have paid dog registration fees on or before 30 June for the last two years
- have all dogs micro-chipped in accordance with the Dog Control Act, including providing the microchip number to the Council
- have a licence to keep multiple dogs on their property (if applicable)
- inform the Council of any dog registration or residential address changes, including information on the death, sale, or transfer of any dogs, and including the birth of any pups.
The dog owner must have a property at which the dog resides that:
- is suitably fenced and gated to contain the dog
- allows dog-free access to a door of the dwelling for authorised callers.
The owner must have complied with the requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996 and the current Christchurch City Council Dog Control Bylaw, and must not, in the last two years, have:
- had a dog that has been found at large, been uncontrolled, or been chased, returned or impounded by Council Animal Management staff
- been issued with a warning notice or infringement notice for any dog-related offence
- been prosecuted for any dog-related offence.
Owners of dogs classified as 'menacing by breed' under Dog Control Act may be considered for Responsible Dog Owner status, provided all criteria are strictly met. Owners of dogs classified as 'menacing by deed' will generally not be eligible, but may be considered if there are extenuating circumstances.
Owners of dogs classified as 'dangerous' under the Dog Control Act are not eligible to apply for Responsible Dog Owner status. If they cease to be the owner of such a dog, they may then be considered.