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Special category dogs

Special category dogs are used for public service or assisting people with disabilities.

​Declaration of a special category

When you register the dog for the first time, apply for the special category. You will need proof from the organisation your dog has been registered with.

Animal Administration
Auckland Council
Private Bag 92300
Auckland 1142

Alternatively, you can save and email your completed form to us or bring it into any of our service centres.

Public service dogs

Some special category dogs are usually owned and trained by:

  • New Zealand Police
  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • Department of State
  • Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management
  • Department of Conservation.

These dogs are trained for the specific purpose of the government agency that owns them.

Disability assist dogs

Disability assist dogs are also special category dogs. They are registered with one of these organisations:

  • Assistance Dogs New Zealand
  • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand
  • K9 Medical Detection New Zealand
  • Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust
  • New Zealand Epilepsy Assist Dogs Trust
  • Perfect Partners Assistance Dogs Trust
  • Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Incorporated.

If the organisation that registers your dog gives you the registration tag, go to Change your dog's details to update your dog's information.

No registration fee for special category dogs

There is no registration fee for dogs in the special category.

You still have to register the dog annually to receive a tag.

Exemption from micro-chipping

Special category dogs are considered working dogs. They do not have to be micro-chipped.

Civil Defence disability assist tag

If you have a disability assist dog, the organisation that registered the dog will send you an additional tag from the Ministry of Civil Defence.

This tag identifies all disability assist dogs during a civil emergency and they are evacuated with their owners into emergency shelters.

This tag does not replace the registration tag we provide. The dog must wear both tags at all times.

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