Dogs shot dead after sheep attack

By Kaysha Brownlie

1 comment

Police have shot dead two dogs after they mauled to death 10 sheep, including seven heavily pregnant ewes, at a semi-rural property in Napier.

Since the first attack last week, Lin Townsend has moved her sheep to a friend's property to keep them safe but had previously been staying up night after night to keep watch over them.

On Tuesday night, more dogs had come onto her 5ha lifestyle block. "They came back twice in one night," Mrs Townsend said.

"The dogs come back once they get a taste for blood."

Police confirmed two dogs were shot after the mauling.

They said 10 sheep were injured with three having to be put down by Animal Control. The rest were assessed by a vet.

One dog that was responsible for killing the sheep during the Tuesday morning incident was shot by police behind a mound of dirt and out of the view of the public. Police considered the second dog to be dangerous, saying it not only posed risks to stock but also to members of the public so a decision was made to destroy it on Friday .

"It is also believed these dogs were responsible for killing at least one sheep the day before," a police spokesperson said.

This attack comes in the midst of lambing season. Mrs Townsend said each ewe cost about $150, the lambs about $80 after they were born, and the three hoggets were worth about $90 each.

But the monetary value aside, she said her father was a shepherd and she grew up with sheep around - "I miss them."

They were also a highlight for her grandchildren when they visited, especially when there were lambs, she said.

She said the attack was horrific - sheep were left with holes in their faces and sides, one sheep's "back leg was just ripped to pieces, just shredded".

"It's pretty horrific."

Before the attack Mrs Townsend had 23 sheep. She said she was now considering getting $3000 electric fences so she could have them back.

She said she loved dogs and did not believe it was their fault but the owners'. "It's just a game to them [the dogs], they don't know, it's their pack mentality."

Among the horses, chooks and cows, the animal-lover also owned dogs herself but she said she knew where they were at all times and did not let them roam at night.

She said a female bull mastiff-cross had been shot on Tuesday following the mauling and this was how dogs of this breed got a bad name. But her niece had a pit bull, also considered a dangerous breed, and despite being a "big sook" who feared even cats they were careful to watch it.

Police said: "The decision for a police officer to destroy an animal is made on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on factors such as immediate public safety risk, the suffering of an animal particularly if it is sick or injured, and the immediate availability of other options to destroy the animal such as a vet."

The Dog Control Act 1996 section 57 states a person may, for the purpose of stopping an attack, seize or destroy a dog if the person is attacked by the dog, or the person witnesses the dog attacking any other person, or any stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife.

- Hawkes Bay Today

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 27 May 2017 19:27:27 Processing Time: 433ms