Matthew Backhouse

Matthew Backhouse is an APNZ news reporter based in Wellington.

Dogs maul cat to death after chasing it inside house

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

A cat was mauled to death in its owner's home by two wandering dogs which chased it through a cat door.

Gore teacher Emma de Pass is calling on dog owners to stop their pets from wandering the streets after her much-loved cat Smoky was killed by two staffordshire bull terriers, a mother and pup, on Friday.

Both dogs were captured by a Gore District Council animal control contractor and have since been destroyed.

Ms de Pass said she was alerted to the attack about 3pm and arrived home to find police and an animal control officer.

"They said that there were two dangerous dogs inside with our cat in the bedroom," she said.

Smoky had been sleeping outside on a deck, according to a neighbour who saw the attack unfold, Ms de Pass said.

"The dogs had come around the corner, saw him and chased him. He ran into the cat door and they chased him through the cat door - they ripped the cat door off - and followed him into the bedroom, where they pretty much tore him to pieces."

Ms de Pass said her neighbour called animal control, but there was nothing else that could be done.

Smoky was "tortured" by the dogs, she said.

"He had really no chance. It was two dogs and a cat in small bedroom, and nowhere for him to jump up high, either."

Ms de Pass did understand why the dogs had walked all the way down a long driveway to her back section, or exactly how they made it through the small cat door.

She said the dogs' owner had apologised and told her the mother dog was a family pet which had been around cats and children.

"He was really surprised that it actually happened, because it's never done anything like this before. They have cats at home as well, so I don't know why it did that."

Ms de Pass said dogs should not be wandering around on the street, and called on owners to make sure they were locked up during the day so they could not escape.

She described Smoky as a lovable, cheeky cat who was her "best friend". She and her partner had Smoky for three years, but he was thought to be up to two years older than that.

"He slept with us every night, and we'd be watching TV and he'd sit on your lap ... He was so friendly, it's just horrible how it happened."

Gore District Council corporate services general manager Russell Duthie said the council had received a complaint about the wandering dogs earlier on Friday.

An animal control contractor had tried to find the dogs for more than hour, but unfortunately arrived too late to stop the the "very unspeakable act" from happening.

"We were doing all we could but we just couldn't catch up on them, and they'd done the deed before we managed to get hold of them."

Mr Duthie said both dogs were taken into custody and had since been destroyed.

He said a bylaw prevented dogs from being in public without a leash, and a recent amendment compelled owners whose dogs were caught wandering more than twice to have the animal de-sexed at their own cost.

Mr Duthie said one of the dogs involved in the attack had been caught wandering previously.

The council tried to capture wandering dogs when it received complaints, but they often left the area before an animal control contractor arrived.

- APNZ

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