The Whangarei owner of an alpaca mauled to death by a dog is warning more animal deaths are likely in the area if the offending canine is not identified quickly.
Guy Mahony, who is working as a doctor in Australia, learned Brucie, one of his three alpaca at his Crane Rd property, north of Whangarei, had been killed by a dog or dogs last Sunday.
The news was heartwrenching as he has owned the trio for nearly seven years and Mr Mahony immediately made a report via email to the Whangarei District Council (WDC) calling for action to catch the dog responsible.
The council is investigating the death but say it is difficult to identify the canine offenders as no one saw the attack.
While Mr Mahony is working in palliative care at Mount Isa, Queensland, he has friend Bob Douglas regularly checking on his block of land and three animals.
Last Sunday about 6.30pm Mr Douglas had to ring to say the housesitter had arrived home to find one alpaca in the house section and one dead in the paddock.
The third one had panicked, jumped out of the paddock and fled 2 kilometres up the road.
"I think [Brucie] bled out. They hacked him up pretty bad," Mr Douglas said.
He managed to get the other alpaca back in the paddock. The remaining animals, Snot and Brad, were spooked by the attack.
"One came into the paddock and didn't want to leave his dead mate on the ground."
On Monday Mr Douglas walked the boundary fence and found a collar on the ground where a dog had came through. In the swamp the rushes and grass were flattened down where he suspected the alpaca was attacked and dragged down.
A local farmer help dig a hole and Brucie was buried in the paddock. Mr Mahony said he wanted the dog owners to be held responsible.
He said in the farming neighbourhood there were new lambs and calves so there was the potential for a big problem if the dogs were not identified and appropriately dealt with.
WDC regulatory services manager Grant Couchman said the council had received the complaint and had started an investigation. However, so far the evidence was circumstantial and it was made difficult because no one had seen the animals attacking the alpaca.
He said there was no way of linking the collar to a dog as there was no form of identification or registration number.
"Any attack we take seriously. Any dog involved in an attack we want to see isolated."