Otaki police are warning locals two men pretending to be animal control officers are actually trying to steal dogs.

A resident has been approached by the pair, who claimed they worked for the local council.

They said they had to take her Ridgeback away for microchipping.

Police say it appears the men wanted to take the dog so it could be used in fights.

Sergeant Noel Bigwood says the men were tidily dressed and acted as animal control officers, saying they worked for Kapiti Coast District Council.

"They were imposters. Fortunately she believed this, so she asked for ID - they couldn't produce it, so she then said she would ring the council - and they cleared off. It was an obvious attempt to steal the dog."

Mr Bigwood says true council officers would be able to produce ID, be dressed in council uniform or drive a council vehicle.

He says anyone else who has been approached by the men should contact police immediately.