Which Dunedin Workplaces Allow Office Dogs: A Critic Investigation

Which Dunedin Workplaces Allow Office Dogs: A Critic Investigation

Reading Critic, you may start thinking University is about ‘the drugs’ and ‘the alcohol’. Don’t be fooled. Everyone knows that University is really about launching yourself into the job market. To do that, you need to be informed. That’s what Critic’s really here for. Specifically, we have investigated which Dunedin workplaces are dog-friendly. You know, because journalism. And because cute dogs. 

Starting on campus, the Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) President James Heath said the presence of dogs is “left to the discretion of each manager”. This discretion sees OUSA home to multiple office dogs: Maya at Marketing and Communications, Sumo at Reception, Charlie at Radio One and Nina at Student Support. Another workplace that is cool and hip and cares about the wellbeing of their employees is Otago Polytechnic, which allows dogs depending on the department.

Do you know where office dogs are officially not allowed? The University of Otago. The University bans animals on the premises, with the exception of those used by departments for the purposes of teaching or research or certified disability assist dogs, unless the Director of Property Services grants permission. 

However, a University of Otago staff member with a secret office dog told Critic that Property Services come by all the time and never say anything about their dog – probably because it’s extremely cute. They said their dog is a “calming influence” and “a point of support” for “distraught” or lonely students.

They said dogs are “vibrant living beings” that definitely have a place on campus. “I have heard a lot of students say that they miss their own dogs terribly or that when it is around exam time they need fresh air and a break and having a dog to walk often provides that. I think the Uni could relax its policy around dogs and have a process that accommodates dogs that are providing support for students.”

They acknowledge that “there are some risks to having dogs in an office,” but their dog is well-trained and they are looking to further train their dog as an accredited support dog.

Several Dunedin law firms are home to dogs, including Jenny Beck Law, and Sharon Stark Lont Lawyers where Lou the spoodle comes into work every day. One lawyer Critic spoke to said, “my clients love having [my dog in the office]. It puts them at ease and often provides a common ground thing for us to chat about, as opposed to the chat about whether or not I can keep them out of jail. I wish we could bring [dogs] to court, but, I do see the issues there.” 

It’s not in Dunedin, but Aspiring Law in Wanaka has a bring your dog to work day which is very cute.

The Dunedin City Council does not have an office dog policy, “but in general staff are not permitted to brings dogs to work unless they are guide dogs,” said a DCC spokesperson.

Here are some other workplaces that allow office dogs:

  • Thank You Payroll
  • Southern Boats said “good morale comes with it too”
  • Netspeed has an “office dog/intruder alarm/fluff box”
  • Fair Deal Traders has two German Shepherds and a Rottweiler
  • CrestClean Head Office allows dogs and the occasional litter of rescue kittens
  • Click Property Management in Kaikorai Valley 
  • Flight Centre in Mosgiel
  • Petridish
  • TracPlus Dunedin
  • Montecillo Veterans Home has three dogs that come in daily and visitors are most welcome to bring in any well-behaved pets: “We most recently had a pony to visit that even went upstairs in the lift” 
  • Mudpuppy in Caversham
  • Otago Petfoods in Mosgiel
  • SPCA Op Shop at the Gardens
  • Platinum Recruitment
  • Second Hand Yard South Dunedin has Jock the Scottie dog
  • Shaw’s Yard has a West Highland Terrier 
  • Nettl website design on High Street has a dog called Lola 
  • McCormicks’ Carrying in Cresswell Street has Brandy the chocolate lab
  • Thermawood Otago has a dog called Tia there every day
  • Taylor’s Purification in Kaikorai Valley Rd 
  • Runaway Games 
This article first appeared in Issue 2, 2019.
Posted 9:22pm Thursday 28th February 2019 by Esme Hall.