NZ Companion Animal Register

Case Studies /
NZ Companion Animal Register

Supporting Companion Animals NZ to get lost pets home to their worried families.

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A woman and and a man sitting on park bench petting their dog.

The challenge

Small child looking outside a window with Cavalier King Charles Spaniel standing on hind legs also looking out window.

Companion Animals NZ (CANZ) represents a range of animal welfare groups focused on ensuring responsible companion animal guardianship in Aotearoa. One of their initiatives is the Animal Register, a database of New Zealand’s microchipped pets.

A microchipped and registered animal is likely to be returned to its guardian three times faster than a non-chipped animal. However, limitations of the old NZ Companion Animal Register meant long administrative delays in getting pets registered, difficulties in updating guardian details, and challenges in matching the right animal. All of this made it harder for animals and their guardians to be reunited.

Cat sitting beside owner on a couch

The solution

As a bunch of passionate animal guardians Media Suite already had strong empathy for users of the NZ Companion Animal Register. However, our understanding of user needs was deepened through interviews, persona development, and prototyping. This enabled the team to really focus on the key areas for improvement.

These areas included:

  • Making it easy for guardians to keep their details up to date, and for CANZ to easily engage with these guardians.
  • Streamlining the animal registration process to enable agencies like vets and the SPCA to reduce their administrative overhead.
  • Enabling easy rehoming of animals in the system, with clear audit trails of changes.
By reducing the manual effort across the NZ Companion Animal Register enabled users to focus on what really matters - getting lost pets returned home quickly. With over one million companion animals now registered, the chances of getting our furry friends home is improving by the day.

David Lloyd

Companion Animals NZ was looking for a real partnership for developing the new Animal Register, not just a typical vendor relationship. We found that partner in Media Suite. Media Suite really understands our world and there has been a real collaborative effort to improve the solution over time.

David Lloyd - Companion Animals NZ General Manager

Companion animals user interface screenshot with other UI elements floating on top of it and a girl cuddling a dog.

a focus on

  1. Reducing administrative overheads for agencies and support staff
  2. Promoting education through improved engagement with guardians
  3. Supporting new technology opportunities through a modern development platform

how it came together


Working with Companion Animals NZ, veterinary practices, and animal welfare agencies to design a solution that worked for everyone.


Building a deep understanding of user needs across the entire team through use of detailed personas.


Using industry-standard Silverstripe CMS, for speed and ease of development.


Transitioning the hosting of the legacy NZ Companion Animal Register while the new soution was developed.

Illustration of Mark Stuart

Technically speaking

“Using Silverstripe CMS gave us a lot of functionality out of the box, and enabled us to easily build invoicing and reporting interfaces using established patterns in the framework. It also supported easy integration with the SPCA animal management system to allow registrations from Snip n' Chip campaigns, and animals that are adopted out to new guardians.

Moving the new Animal Register to AWS infrastructure enabled us to incorporate load balanced servers for zero-downtime deployments, making new releases stress-free.

Mark Stuart - Senior Developer