Four sheep that, as lambs, survived a dog attack that killed their mothers, have now lost their lives.
The four sheep were killed by a dog or dogs last week in a paddock off Casuarina Drive, Rangiuru. Property owner Barry Edwards says it was the third dog attack he has suffered at the property, the last one two years ago.
''Two of [the sheep killed last week] were unborn twins then. When their mother was killed I had to do a caesarean in the paddock. I had to shoot the mother but knew she was due to have twins. We took them in and put them in front of the fire and bottle fed them and they survived.''
Another of the survivors from the attack two years ago had been rejected by its mother so was being cared for in the house at the time of the attack, while a fourth lamb, its brother, managed to get through a fence and escape before returning, hungry, five hours later.
''We've stopped having lambs because of dogs and just kept the four to keep the house paddock tidy - now I haven't even got those,'' says Barry. ''Now I'm too scared to do sheep because of the dogs, it's a real problem.''
He says neighbours in the area are all looking out for wandering dogs.
''I don't think town people realise how big a problem and how horrific it is when you see what the dogs do to the animal - it's just horrible.''
In the same vicinity dogs mauled and killed nine goats in December last year.
Barry doesn't think the attack was by stray dogs, but by someone letting dogs roam at night.
''If it was a pack of wild dogs that were hiding during the day and attacking sheep at night they would get seen sooner or later - and it would happen more often.''
Barry wants to warn others in the area to be vigilant.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council compliance and monitoring manager Alison Curtis says Barry's complaint was the first relating to stock being killed in the area since December. She says the complaint is still under investigation by council staff.
''Council staff have had a dog trap located in the area over several months. This trap has been located at three separate properties along Rangiuru Rd over the past 12 months.
''It is staff's concern that the dog or dogs have not been captured as they are not motivated by food, are likely to be family pets that are well fed and are being allowed out at night.''
She says it is important members of the public contact the council if they have any concerns around dog behaviour or attacks.
''Information that would be of interest includes roaming or wandering dogs, especially at night and any attacks of stock, including other animals in the area. All information is confidential.''
The council will continue to place traps in the area.
''Property owners with stock may wish to look at night cameras for surveillance of stock.
To protect their stock any land owner may shoot any dog running at large among stock.''