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PET TALK: Registering your dog

Wednesday 3 August 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion, Pet Talk

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PET TALK: Registering your dog
One of the dogs at Rarotonga’s SPCA Animal Shelter. Photo: CI NEWS/21060109

Why does everything important require registration? Te Are Manu Vet Clinic medical director Dr Michael Baer explains.

Everything I have ever done that was important has required me to be registered. I had to register with the bank to open an account. I had to register with the electoral office to vote. I had to register with the Vet Surgeons Board of Queensland and the Vet Council in New Zealand to be able to work. I had to register as a driver and register my car to be able to use it on the road. And I had to register my dogs.

Why does everything important require registration? I think it is because of the standards society places on privileges that could interfere with other citizens. 

You know when you get in a car that other road users are trained drivers and are in vehicles that meet certain standards. And you know that registered dogs have met certain standards – their owners have had the dog desexed, and the owner has accepted that if the dog interferes with other people, the owner can be found. So, the owner has accepted the responsibility to train, feed, and care for the dog, to protect other citizens. Registration offers protection for society when a privilege is given to a citizen. It is important to encourage others to accept the responsibilities that come from that privilege.

Privilege is the reward for all that responsibility. The privilege to vote and decide the future, to drive and not to walk, to earn a living as a vet, or doctor, or builder – and the privilege to own a dog. 

Dog ownership is a wonderful experience. Like no other animal, dogs become members of the family. They protect the home. They protect the people. They offer companionship, care, attention and unquestioning loyalty and devotion.  But they also do some things they shouldn’t, like wander away with strangers and get lost. That is another important aspect of registration – the benefits.

Benefits like the ability to track stolen vehicles and return them to the owner.  Or to rehome lost dogs. The Cook Island Microchip database is being expanded to include registration and medical information. This will be a subject of this column in the future.

Registration always has a process, and registering your dog is no different.

Step 1 – Have your dog desexed and microchipped. This is easy, simply ring Te Are Manu on 27719 to make a booking, or bring your dog to one of our Puna Desexing clinics.

Step 2 – Take your desexing certificate to the police station in Avarua.

Step 3 – Pay your fee – a one off payment of $50 for males and $60 for females.

Step 4 – Place the registration disc on your dog’s collar.

Step 5 - Care for your pet for life.

Too easy! And what a privilege.