A Bay of Plenty officer set upon by dogs last night, fatally shooting one, is back at work today after finishing his shift last night.

The officer was attacked by when a man he was trying to arrest failed to stop for a police check, and was bitten about eight times on his upper thigh.

Police said the offender set three of his five dogs on the officer. One of the dogs bit him several times on the leg.

The Police Association said because the man was known to police, the officer had taken a gun with him as a precaution.

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The dog was killed in the Kaingaroa Forest township, near Murupara, about 8pm yesterday.

The man was still being sought by police.

Seargeant John Cassidy said the officer had received between six and eight superficial bites to the back of his upper thigh.

Ambulance staff treated him at the scene and he returned to work that night.

He was back at work this morning and in good spirits, Cassidy said.

"He's all good, he's thankful the injuries weren't more significant. He just wanted to get back to work."

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Cassidy fully supported his officer's decision to shoot the dog.

The officer was alone with the offender and the dogs and would have been aware of the damage the other dogs could do if they attacked as well.

"He did what we're tactically trained to do," Cassidy said.

While the officer was being attacked, the man left on foot with two dogs. Two other dogs remained in the car.

The man is known to police, who have asked his friends and family to tell him to turn himself in if they saw him.

The man was originally stopped by police following up on reports of a suspicious vehicle.

There was now also an investigation in relation to the dogs, Cassidy said.

The officer shot the dog for his own safety, said Bay of Plenty Senior Sergeant Mal Collins last night.

"When the man failed to comply with the constable, the dogs were set on [him] from the man's vehicle. He was placed in a dangerous situation when threatened with the animals.

"The officer used his training and tactical options to ensure his own safety and that of the community was preserved."