A family will receive an apology after a dog control officer climbed into their empty home to "apprehend" their dog.

The dog control officer mistakenly thought he had a search warrant to enter the Te Atatu home of Liesje Bradley, whose 10-year-old dog Monty's registration was overdue.

The incident has prompted changes to the way Auckland Council officers act on private property.

By law, officers may enter a property but not a house unless they have a search warrant issued by a court. Bradley said she felt "violated" knowing the man had been in her house.


Max Wilde, Auckland Council's Western licensing and compliance manager, said the Bradleys would get an apology for the incident, which had prompted a rule change for his staff.

"They were out picking up unregistered dogs. They had 11 addresses ... and search warrants for five of them. Plain and simple, they thought they had a search warrant for [Bradley's]address and they didn't. They were just totally wrong."

A police officer went with the officer, but nobody had checked to see whether there was a warrant for Bradley's address.

Wilde admitted the dog officer went in through an unlatched window.

He said the consequences for the dog control officer were a private matter. "I can't tell you what the outcome of that is. We're carrying out our investigation and putting in measures to make sure that this doesn't happen again."

Bradley said she was still considering whether to take the complaint further.