An apparently unwanted but not-aggressive dog captured after evading authorities in Wairoa for up to six months has had to be put down.

According to the Wairoa District Council website, the male mastiff-cross was "just an unloved or abandoned pet trying to survive".

It had kept its freedom by avoiding dog traps, fleeing the chase in a number of roads in and around the town, and refusing to be tempted by the offer of treats and morsels from council staff and members of the public.

Time ran out last month when the dog was cornered in a residential washhouse in Corkill Ave, and the council has since confirmed that with no rehoming service available the animal had been put down.

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Council compliance team leader Paul Van Dorrestein said the dog had shown remarkable skills and intelligence in evading animal control for so long.

It had avoided council-set traps, being chased by Animal Control vehicles "all along Kopu Rd, and other streets in the area", and locals had offered treats and dog rolls to try to lure and contain the dog, but it always "beat a hasty retreat".

He said the dog had been "just an unloved or abandoned pet trying to survive and having spent the past six months fending for itself".

Public assistance in reporting sightings and trying to catch the dog had been really helpful, he said.

"It has been a great community effort and we thank everyone who has helped out."