Roam­ing dogs maul­ing cats

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PASLEY

‘‘They're dan­ger­ous, they're hunt­ing.’’

A pack of roam­ing dogs be­ing blamed for a spate of cat killings has an Auck­land sub­urb on edge.

Hills­bor­ough res­i­dents are ter­ri­fied af­ter a string of re­cent night time dog at­tacks have re­sulted in the deaths of at least five pets.

Auck­land Coun­cil said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the at­tacks. It re­ceived three com­plaints about at­tacks on cats and 14 com­plaints about roam­ing dogs in the cen­tral Auck­land sub­urb.

Auck­land Coun­cil cen­tral-east an­i­mal man­age­ment team leader Christo van der Merwe said the pack of dogs might have been at­tracted to area by the smell of a fe­male dog in heat.

Six dogs from the sub­urb have re­cently been im­pounded, the lastest on June 14, but none could be linked to the at­tacks.

He said of­fi­cers were plac­ing meat-baited dog traps in strate­gic lo­ca­tions to catch loose dogs, with­out harm­ing them.

Hills­bor­ough res­i­dent Roseanne Gib­son lost her 9-yearold cat Mewsli to a dog at­tack.

‘‘They’re dan­ger­ous, they’re hunt­ing,’’ Gib­son said.

On June 1 she woke at mid­night to find Mewsli in the jaws of a tanned dog out on her deck. De­spite Gib­son scar­ing the dog off, Mewsli died from his in­juries.

The fol­low­ing night Gib­son said her neigh­bour watched two dogs rip his cat apart.

‘‘There are so many cats in this area that have been lost,’’ Gib­son said.

Hills­bor­ough res­i­dent Ja­nine Kolk­man said she had lost one rab­bit and two guinea pigs to dog at­tacks.

Hills­bor­ough res­i­dent David Clar­idge said the at­tacks had been on­go­ing for about a month and he was aware of at least six pets be­ing killed.

‘‘Ev­ery­body’s stressed to max, we haven’t slept all week,’’ he said.

Clar­idge said he was lock­ing his two cats in­side at night rather than run­ning the risk of los­ing them to an at­tack. He said he wouldn’t be let­ting them out for an­other month.

Res­i­dent Carolyn Sy­monds said she was neu­rotic for the safety of her two cats Mag­gie and Cato.

Coun­cil re­ceived mul­ti­ple de­scrip­tions of dogs that may have been in­volved in the at­tacks, and have un­der­taken pa­trols of the area to try to lo­cate the dogs.

Van der Merwe said a num­ber of the dogs could have roamed a long dis­tance from their homes, pos­si­bly from out­side Hills­bor­ough.

He en­cour­aged peo­ple to re­port any sight­ings of roam­ing dogs to 09 301 0101 and, if pos­si­ble, to take pho­tos of the dogs.

JAMES PASLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Res­i­dent Carolyn Sy­monds says she fears for the safety of her two cats Mag­gie and Cato. Res­i­dent Roseanne Gib­son.

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