Roaming dogs are being blamed for a recent cat killing spree in Dargaville and one resident is doing something about it.
Joanne Williams has started a petition because she was "sickened" to hear about the attacks that had been happening.
"Friends of ours thought at first that their cat was run over last September when they found her outside their place, it turned out that the cat had been ripped apart by a dog and died."
Since then Mrs Williams claims there have been multiple killings of pet cats, rabbits and guinea pigs.
"Just over a week ago owners of a cat sadly watched as it was attacked by two wandering dogs. Their cat had its back broken and guts spilling out and it was still trying to fend off the dog.
"They had to call the vets to have their cat put down and that cost them $190, all because of someone allowing their dog to wander and become a cat killer. "
Mrs Williams claims that since then, three more cats were found savagely killed up at Selwyn Park.
"One of them I found and bagged up."
"So many people were saying how sick and tired they were of feeling unsafe walking the streets I thought I have to start this petition."
So she did and the petition called Lets Make Dargaville Safe has already had over 300 people sign since it was launched just a few days ago.
Mrs Williams intends to present the petition to Kaipara District Council Mayor Jason Smith because she wants to see changes to the way dog control is currently occurring.
"Armourguard are the animal control people who are based in Whangarei and do not come out after hours or weekends it seems. Sixty kilometers distance to drive to take care of an incident is too far, too long.
"I am wanting to organise a town meeting asap and take this to council, namely Mayor Jason Smith. Something has to be done too. Many people are suggesting shooting the dogs, however that will just inflame the situation.
"We want a local animal control person employed by council… There used to be a block house here as an overnight pound, we need to have a local animal control person who can have access to a lock up area.
Milk trains For Dargaville debated
Milk trains instead of milk trucks have been proposed by members of a pro-rail group after a new milk transfer station was recently opened in the area.
The station, which is based on State Highway 14 opposite the Field Days site in Dargaville, will allow for milk to be trucked there from local farms.
It is understood it would then be pumped into holding tanks before being transferred via road to dairy factories down the line.
Local resident Mark Shreurs posted to the page Grow Northland Rail proposing that if the Dargaville railway reopened then the transfer station could be moved to the railway yards and milk could be sent via rail instead of roads.
"Upgrading and reopening the Dargaville branch [rail line] to haul milk and logs would be a nice little project for the Government's Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
"I feel the application to the PGF should come from KiwiRail with backing from Kaipara District Council and the community."
The post sparked debate with its members, the majority of whom thought it was a good idea.
David Wagstaff wrote in response to Mark's post, "Milk trains from Dargaville, fantastic possibility as it was a massive success on the Taranaki line. There is no reason Fonterra can't do that type of operation…"
However, one commenter to the post was not in favour, Stuart McNair said it would be an absolute nightmare. "Keep milk on trucks, the faster it gets from farm to factory the better, way too much double handling involved. Logging on the other hand is a much more viable product for KiwiRail to invest in".
Northern Wairoa swim champs
Top swimming athletes from schools in the Northern Wairoa competed at the Primary Schools Swimming Sports recently.
Dargaville Swimming Club secretary Sam Simons said members of the club did exceptionally well.
"Wil Douglas, Kaitlyn Smith, Hadley Herman and Matty Douglas broke 12 records between them and Talon Paniora, our newest swimmer, who was part of the Super 4 relay who broke a record from 2012, and everyone in between, the swimming was outstanding," she said.
"Every club swimmer who participated should be proud of what their hard work has achieved.
"Our kids train up to eight hours a week and swim at a weekly club night to improve times and hone skills."
Members of the club also compete at meets all over Northland and travel as far as Auckland to national level meets.
The club is coached by Glen Smith and Brad Wallace.
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