Two designer dogs are in the Whanganui District Council pound, and their owner is facing prosecution, after they killed a neighbour's pet chickens.

The retrodoodles, a hybrid of a golden retriever and a miniature poodle and also known as goldendoodles, are understood to have escaped from their owner's property and killed the chickens.

Warrick Zander, the council's compliance team leader, said the dogs were being "kept in custody" under Section 71 (2) of the Dog Control Act 1996.

"At this stage the dogs will remain impounded until the prosecution is determined," Zander said.

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"Normally we work to achieve the best result for all involved and sometimes there may be an alternative solution. Unfortunately these dogs have come to our attention before for similar incidents involving birds/poultry.

"A decision has been made to present this matter in court where a judge can assess all aspects of the case and come to a determination."

Zander said he was not aware of the council having previously received any court orders for the destruction of dogs for attacks on poultry.

"There have, however, been cases where the owner has made the decision to euthanise their dog following a dog attack or other serious incident," Zander said.

The dogs' owner — believed to be Michael Law — posted an impassioned plea to save the dogs on social media this week, saying he had two new homes for the dogs to "ensure no one has to lose another chicken". The post has since been taken down.

He declined to comment to the Chronicle, citing legal advice.