Vicious dog attacks which have left three cats, one dog and a guinea pig dead have some residents fearing a child may be the next victim.
Peter Bangs' family cat of 20-years, Karma, was killed in their garden just over a week ago and left their family "absolutely devastated."
He said they had come home late, feeding the cats outside later than usual. A small while later he heard barking coming up their driveway and chased off what he thought was two dogs.
After a night of barking, his wife called Karma who was on the front lawn and discovered she had been attacked.
"It's absolutely horrendous," Bangs said.
"Some people can't have children and they get a cat or a dog...they're family."
Bangs said his elderly neighbour's cat had been killed after Karma, and said he had heard of four cats mauled in the same area since their attack and he was now scared his grandchildren, or someone's child, might be next.
"Something needs to be done, it's not just one cat its five family pets."
Rotorua Lakes Council animal control team lead Dylan Wright confirmed three cats, a dog and a guinea pig had been attacked and killed in the past two weeks which were reported to them.
Wright said all roaming sightings in the Hillcrest area were being treated as top priority and being responded to 24 hours a day, patrols had increased in Hillcrest and other areas known for roaming dogs.
Michele Meredith was another Hillcrest resident who echoed fears for her children, 4 and 7, after she watched the "murder" of her cat, Trixi at 11pm on Tuesday.
"I don't want to live here, I want to go ... I just want to feel safe or leave."
She said she now walked her son to the neighbours to play in fear of him being next.
Two cats were taken to Vetora Rotorua this week as a result of dog attacks.
Operations manager David Schmidt said once dogs got a taste, they got excited by it.
A dog would pick up a cat either from the neck or back and "shake it like a ragdoll" which would result in puncture wounds and either a broken neck or back, Schmidt said.
He said it was not uncommon to have spates of attacks but the number of attacks described by locals at the moment was clearly a concern.
On social media, some residents have posted warnings about violent dog attacks.
One person said they had witnessed a dog attacked by "two roaming mutts" on Puriri Cres and a friend had seen the dogs "rip a cat to pieces" the day before a few blocks away on Wrigley Rd.
In the past three months Animal Control received 279 calls about roaming dogs which number made up about 23 per cent of all jobs lodged.
Wright said attacks on animals had decreased from the same period last year, there was a noticed spike of attacks on animals in the Hillcrest area but there was no obvious reason to say why.
"We need these reports so we can try and avoid the situation where an animal or person is attacked."
Wright said owners needed to ensure their dogs were secured on their own property at all times.
"If dogs are not out roaming then attacks like this would not happen – it's as simple as that."
Council encourage anyone who witnesses roaming dogs to report them direct to the council on 07 348 4199 (24/7) as soon as possible with as much information as they are able.
-Team of seven officers, minimum of four on patrol daily and minimum of two on weekends.
-After hours officers are on call after 4.30pm and respond as needed to jobs phoned through.
-Attacks are a priority one job: they are responded to immediately 24 hours a day.
-When reporting a dog (if safe to do so) a photograph and/or a detailed description of the breed and if known, the address from which the dog emerged or is known to live.