The owners of a dog alleged to be at the centre of the fatal mauling of a young fur seal at Pukehina Beach have refused to hand it over to animal control officers.

The dog attacked the seal around its neck and head on Sunday.

The fur seal, believed to be about 10 months old, died as a result of its injuries.

Department of Conservation ranger Kate Miller earlier said the unleashed dog refused to let go, and bystanders had to intervene and pry if off the seal.


Western Bay of Plenty District Council compliance and regulatory manager Alison Curtis said animal service officers had not been able to seize the dog in question yet.

The tan-coloured male pit bull terrier type cross, which was classified as menacing, was unregistered, she said

"We have attempted to [seize the dog] more than once, however the owners are not cooperating. We are working with DOC and the police and hope to seize the dog shortly," Ms Curtis said.

No charges had yet been laid against the dog's owners, she said.