All three dogs accused of mauling up to 15 cats in Matua have been finally caught - but the dogs are innocent until proven guilty.

Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said DNA testing from the bite marks on cats involved in the incidents has been swabbed and would be cross-checked with the DNA from the dogs recently caught.

However, to Powell's knowledge, this had not yet been done.

"But what they do have is three unregistered dogs who clearly have not been looked after because they are roaming all over the place.

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"There is no evidence at the moment so the DNA will be definitive."

The severity of the situation was part of why Powell has become involved.

"These dogs are stray and killing animals.

"They have got the taste of blood in their mouths and imagine if that had led to a child being mauled or maimed."

He did not know for certain what the breed of dogs in custody was but said residents believed the dogs caught were the right ones.

Matua resident Annelise Kalchelhoffer is among the pet owners whose cats were mauled to death by dogs. Photo / File
Matua resident Annelise Kalchelhoffer is among the pet owners whose cats were mauled to death by dogs. Photo / File

Powell also believed anywhere up to 15 cats had been killed in the attacks which are reported to date back as far as August.

Pet owners in Matua last week told the Bay of Plenty Times they were living in fear after a series of dog attacks had left a number of cats in the area either dead or reported missing.

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Herons Ave resident Annelise Kachelhoffer's cat, Lexy, was killed while the family was out of town for several days.

"I cannot begin to tell you how sad and devastated our family is. We have had Lexy for 14 years since he was rescued as a little kitten in United Arab Emirates' capital, Abu Dhabi."

A heartbroken Kachelhoffer told the Bay of Plenty Times Lexy was found mauled to death on their driveway on Monday morning by a man who told her his cat had also been killed in the Matua area.