This summer the Chronicle is bringing you another look at some of the best content of 2019. This story originally ran on September 25, 2019
A rural Whanganui resident is calling for boundaries to be put in place for Whanganui District Council's animal management after her dog was taken from her property.
Kelly Jones owns a white English bulldog called Blue, and said it was taken by animal management staff without warning last week.
Jones has owned the dog for two years but hadn't got around to registering it, although her three other dogs were registered.
When Jones got home from work one evening she noticed Blue was missing.
"I ran around frantically calling for her, hoping she had just got out of the paddock, but she wasn't anywhere to be found," Jones said.
"I totally understand if you are a dog owner you are obliged to have your dogs registered; however, the animal control officers came out, broke into our property and took our baby.
"She was sitting in a very secure paddock out of town, not running amok, not chasing stock or roaming."
A note left in the letterbox informed Jones that Blue had been taken to the pound that morning.
Jones, who paid the $125 to release and register Blue the same day, said she and her partner are fuming at the uplift, and confused as to how the council knew Blue wasn't registered.
"If your car doesn't have a warrant is it immediately taken off you? Can the police come into your property without a search warrant?" she said.
"How is it that an animal control officer has this power?"
Whanganui District Council compliance operations manager Warrick Zander said dogs that have never been registered are often found when an animal control management officer is investigating previously registered dogs.
Other ways council can check registration status are by viewing the council database or the dog's microchip, or by seeing if it has the appropriate collar tag.
Zander said dog owners are sent registration invoices on July 1, and that an animal management officer is permitted to remove a dog.
"Under the Dog Control Act 1996, a warranted animal management officer is authorised to remove an unregistered dog without the owner's permission.
"On registration reminders, dog owners are informed of the possibility that their dogs may be removed if the dog remains unregistered."
The Act also requires owners to register their dog when it is 3 months old.
Zander said uplifts occur on a regular basis, and officers will be increasing the removal of dogs that are unregistered for the current year.