A Levin woman whose beloved family pet was savagely attacked on her own property says she is concerned over dogs roaming in the town at night.
Jo Bendall's beloved elderly cat Noo suffered serious injuries in the attack after a dog came onto her Trafalgar St property sometime on Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
The cat's stomach was ripped open and its leg damaged, and while it survived, the animal was in serious distress when it managed to crawl into the house the next morning, Bendall said.
Noo was rushed to the vet for surgery, where it was confirmed the injuries were caused by a dog with a large jaw size.
"The vet said it was likely [a dog such as] a pitbull or german shepherd," Bendall said.
"The vet likened his injuries to that of a lion attacking a human with his organs having received huge trauma. She had to go back to him twice in the night to give him more meds and pain killers and she is doing an amazing job and we are really impressed by the job she is doing saving our boy's life."
Bendall said it was lucky she could afford the $1600 vet bill and there were plenty of people who would have to have their animal put down if they found themselves in the same position.
She is worried there are people in the area who let their dogs out of their properties at night to roam deliberately, causing risk for people and other pets.
"People let their dogs out at night because they know the dog ranger's not out then," she said.
"I also see owners walking their dogs down the street [in the daytime] with no leads. They shouldn't be doing it."
Bendall said while the attack had been reported to the council's dog control department, there was nothing they could do as they had no description of the dog that carried it out.
Horowhenua District Council confirmed they had received a total of 189 reported incidents of wandering dogs since the start of this year.
The actual figure may be far higher though, as the statistic only represented instances that were reported.
Council compliance manager Vai Miller said every reported dog attack was investigated.
"If, as a result of an investigation, a wandering dog is found to have attacked another domestic animal, the consequences range from a dog being classified as a menacing dog or dangerous dog, to a dog owner being convicted of an offence in the district court along with a penalty of up to $3000, on top of any damage costs incurred by the attack," she said.
"If convicted the dog owner can expect to have their dog destroyed. In addition, the owner can expect to be classified as a disqualified dog owner for up to five years."
Miller said the council's advice for any member of the public encountering a roaming dog is to keep themselves safe first, then report it to council, noting any distinguishing features.
There are 6353 known dogs in the Horowhenua, of which just 3258 are currently registered, the council said.