Residents in the Parkvale area are on alert as some of their family cats have been killed by roaming dogs.
This has been happening for a while as Tauranga City Council’s animal services team leader Brent Lincoln says the first complaint was received on October 6.
“Since then, council staff have spoken to residents of the area to identify where the dogs may have come from. Additionally, we have set dog-traps and caught one suspect dog, executed a search warrant on one property and increased patrols covering the early morning.”
Brent says there were three suspect dogs.
“One was a Rottweiler cross that was impounded after being caught in a council trap – it has since been euthanized as it was not claimed and was deemed unsuitable to adopt.
“The other two dogs are described as a medium-sized black Labrador Bull Terrier cross and a brown/tan Bull Terrier mixed breed.
“We believe the dogs have now been removed from the neighbourhood as they were not on the suspected property during a search by us.
“We will continue to monitor this property and ask residents to report any sights of these dogs if they are roaming.
“Although an attack on a child can’t ever be entirely ruled out, the motivators for these types of attacks are linked to the dogs having a high prey drive and will attack small animals rather than people.
“ACC figures suggest that most children are attacked in their home or at a friend or family member’s home by dogs that are known to them rather than by roaming dogs.”
If anyone sees any roaming dogs, Brent urges them to report it to the council immediately by phoning 577 7000.
“If it is safe to secure the dog, please do so and we will come and pick the dog up. If you have issues with dogs coming onto your property we can loan you a dog cage, which catches the dog so we can impound it.
“Otherwise, where possible staff will respond and patrol the area of concern to try and locate the dog.
“It’s a terrible situation when someone’s pet is killed like this and we ask all dog owners to ensure their dogs can’t leave their properties unless the owner is with them and that they keep their dog under control at all times.
“If a dog does attack, it can be impounded with the owner prosecuted and they are unlikely to get their dog back.
“There are no winners in these situations, just sadness for everyone.
“In some situations, council will take DNA samples from victim animals to match to suspect dogs. This has resulted in two successful prosecutions where we otherwise had insufficient evidence,” says Brent.