Residents in two Northland towns say they are too scared to walk their own streets because of wandering dogs that have attacked and killed pets.
People in Dargaville and Kaikohe say the towns have serious problems with wandering dogs with several dog attacks in both towns in recent months.
People in both towns have reported seeing animals "ripped to shreds" by roaming dogs in the past few weeks and feel not enough is being done about the dog problems.
A Dargaville woman, who does not want to be named, watched in horror about 1pm last Friday after a dog came on to her Gordon St property and attacked a ginger cat she thought was her beloved pet.
''The dog just came on to our property and attacked the cat. It was ripping it to shreds and I was screaming because I thought it was my cat. It was terrible,'' she said.
When the attack stopped the cat was dead. She realised it was not her cat but the savaging left her traumatised.
Her partner contacted Kaipara District Council, but the woman says nothing seems to have been done and they have not had a visit from the council's dog control contractors.
Since then she has contacted other people via Facebook in the town and found at least 10 other people who reported their own pets being attacked by roaming dogs. The situation had left her and many others in fear of walking on their own streets.
The cat killed was called Ginger Ninja or "Ginge" and its owner said something needs to be done about the wandering dog issue in the town.
''Imagine if it was a child walking home from school and they were attacked. The child or a loved pet doesn't need it," she said.
The attack came days after Isobel Ross was walking her dog Mac down Hokianga Rd in Dargaville when he was attacked by a pitbull, causing "horrendous" injuries.
Dean Nuralli, KDC regulatory manager, said a complaint was received about the incident on Gordon St, and is under investigation.
''Council is aware of the issue of roaming dogs, dog attacks and the worry this is causing for local residents. During the past 10 months our animal control contractors have undertaken extra patrols, at various times over what have been classified as hotspot areas,'' Nuralli said.
A review is being undertaken over the adequate provision of animal control services, which includes a report on options for improving delivery, that will be presented at the KDC meeting on May 30. A report will be tabled at the next KDC meeting on May 2 in response to the petition also received on dog related concerns in April.
''KDC aims to provide a safe community for its residents and their pets, and will continue to look at ways to ensure this continues,'' he said.
''While it has been said many times before, the responsibilities related to dog ownership lies solely with the owners of the dogs, to ensure they are being properly cared for, contained and managed.
"To report wandering or aggressive dogs the KDC animal control team is on 0800 105 890, 24/7.''
In Kaikohe a man in his 80s, who does not wish to be named, watched about 8.30am on Wednesday when two dogs came on to his property and snatched a small dog belonging to his son-in-law.
''They then took it on to the reserve over the road [in Heke St] and tore it to shreds. It was horrible, there was blood everywhere,'' the man said.
''There were people around, including a bunch of kids that saw it. I'm worried that these dogs could attack and kill a child next time, then who will be held accountable?''
He said the dog that was attacked was still alive, but with numerous stitches and a big bill for the owner.
He said he and his wife and others had complained about the dogs - which he said are not registered - on several occasions but the Far North District Council seemed to have not done anything about them.
"It's just not on. People are scared and it seems little is being done.''
Darren Edwards, manager – environmental services at FNDC, said after speaking to the Animal Management Team for an update on the Heke Rd dog attack he is satisfied the council has done all it can at this stage.
''While the attack was reported to council by a member of the public, we have not yet received a complaint from the owner of the mauled dog. I strongly urge the owner to contact council. As soon as we receive a complaint, we will launch an investigation into the attack,'' Edwards said.
According to council phone and computer records, FNDC staff received a phone call from a member of the public reporting an attack on a dog at a Heke Rd property. The witness said the owner of a mauled dog had taken his pet to the vet. The witness said a black dog involved in the attack went to a property on Ripi St nearby, he said.
''Animal management officers have spoken to the witness, however the witness was not able to provide details about the owner of the mauled dog. Animal management officers have also visited a Ripi St address and spoken to the occupants regarding a black dog involved in the attack,'' Edwards said.
"We have also spoken with the owner of the black dog who is assisting us with our inquiries. Animal management officers will continue with their inquiries to identify the owner of the mauled dog to further our investigation.
''I understand that witnesses or victims of dog attacks can be reluctant to make complaints against neighbours or people they know. Wherever possible, we will protect the identities of complainants, however we cannot do our job without receiving detailed information about attacks. We will act quickly to investigate and seize dogs involved in attacks once a complaint is made.''
He said it is not correct to say animal management officers do not patrol Kaikohe. Staff are well aware of problem areas for wandering dogs and these hotspots are patrolled every day. Heke Rd is among these.
Last year 95-year-old Kaikohe man Jim Morgan and his beloved pet Sandy were attacked twice in Harold St, with the dog not surviving the second attack. Since the second attack on December 16, 20 stray dogs had been impounded in the Kaikohe area.