Dismayed farmers are planning to take matters into their own hands to protect their sheep after another 38 were ripped apart by dogs in an overnight attack outside of Hastings.
Calls to police during the attacks between 2am and 4am proved fruitless for a group of farmers on Kaiapo Rd, who say they will band together to keep watch to try to stop the "crisis".
Dawn revealed the full scale of the "massacres" - 20 sheep slain on one farm and another 18 left for dead on a neighbour's property over the road.
Taine Baxter-Love, who lives in a house on the farm where 20 were killed, said he woke to the sound of loud barking at 3am on Wednesday.
"There were definitely two dogs involved. I heard one deep bark, and another shallower one at the same time."
Baxter-Love, who lives in a single-storey flat attached to the main house, said he climbed on top of his roof after he heard the barking to try and see what was going on.
"It was pitch black so I couldn't see much. All I could see was a large, dark dog, maybe a Rottweiler or something.
"This needs to stop. We are at a crisis."
It's the fourth dog attack on sheep on the properties on the road in a week.
Twelve sheep and lambs were killed in the first spree on June 12, and another 10 in the second on June 14. One dog has been impounded in relation to these attacks.
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One property on the road has now been hit twice by dog attacks.
When combined with 75 killed in two separate attacks at the Hawke's Bay Equestrian Park, the toll now stands at an estimated 135 sheep dead in Hastings in the past two weeks alone.
Baxter-Love said of the 11 years he had lived there, this was the first time anything like this had happened.
His neighbour, who did not want to be named, said the attacks were the first of their kind in the 40 years he had lived on the street.
"Before we got hit last week the sheep were in prime nick – we were going to take them to the yard sales that very morning," he said.
"They sell for about $150 each, so it's cost us around $4000," he said.
He said he would have to shoot the remaining injured sheep and bury the carcases, which would require hiring a digger and burying them somewhere on the property.
"That's another cost to us – diggers would be around $100 an hour."
Baxter-Love's grandparents and owners of the property Derek McGaffin and Carol Brinson said they called the police 105 number about 3am.
Brinson and McGaffin said police told them their statement would be filed and reported to Hastings District Council animal control.
However, when they called the 105 number again two hours later, they were told there was no record of their earlier report, and that Hastings District Council's animal control "didn't start work until 8am," so nothing could be done until then.
The farmers have said they "will be working together at night to stop it happening again" and want people to "lock up their dogs".
A Hastings District Council spokesperson said its animal control service operated 24/7, and could be contacted at any time, although stock management was the responsibility of the farmer.
Ninety per cent of residents on Kaiapo Rd had been visited by the council on Wednesday morning and advised to "be vigilant, actively monitor and if possible pen the sheep away", in the wake of the attacks.
Council regulatory solutions manager John Payne advised dog owners in the area to "lock their dogs up".
"Just because you find the dog sitting at the back door when you get up in the morning, doesn't mean it has been there all night."
Police did not respond to an approach for comment.
WHY SO MANY ATTACKS RECENTLY?
Hastings District Council's John Payne has given some insight into why there has been such a spate of attacks recently.
Essentially its a combination of owners not watching them, long nights under the moon, and natural tendencies.
"If left unrestrained, dogs would behave like wild canine predators. It is just a game to them," Payne said.
"Certain breeds have higher prey drives, but all breeds will get involved if the opportunity arises. Dogs are nocturnal and there has recently been a full moon."
Hawke's Bay Federated Farmers vice president Matt Wade said at this time of year sheep were pregnant meaning they not only lost the ewe in the attacks but also the lamb.
Wade suggested that the dogs might be so deadly around this in Hastings as "around this time in Hawke's Bay stock starts going into orchards which are usually close to live stock".