Almost 10,000 dogs have been registered in the New Plymouth district so far this year.
That's more dogs than usual, Mary-Anne Priest, New Plymouth District Council's manager of customer and regulatory services says.
Dog registrations were due to be paid by the end of June, and the council gave one month's grace for any late-comers before starting to apply penalties this month.
Priest said there were half as many known dogs that were unregistered than at the same time last year.
There were 944 dogs on the list that have previously been registered but have yet to have their registration paid for 2014/15, which is a big improvement on the 2012 unregistered dogs this month last year, she said.
"We will be following up with the owners of those unregistered dogs to see if they're still in the district and, if so, get them registered.
"We want to get that unregistered number to as close to zero as possible because we know there's a correlation between unregistered dogs and public safety."
Last year the council announced that greater efforts would be put into having all dogs registered in the district.
That followed an increase in the number of animal attacks and wandering dogs between 2010 and 2012, during which time the number of dog registrations had dropped.
In 2013 there were 206 reported animal attacks, down nine per cent on the 226 attacks in 2012.
The owners of unregistered dogs now face a 50 per cent penalty on the outstanding payment.
The registration fee for a residential dog is $144, with discounts available if the dog is neutered and if the owner is a responsible dog owner or a pensioner.
The fee for a rural dog is $54.50 for the first two dogs and $29.50 for each subsequent dog.
Payments can be made online at newplymouthnz.com, and at the Civic Centre or a service centre at Inglewood, Waitara or Bell Block.
- Taranaki Daily News
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