All dogs caught roaming will be impounded and owners fined as Whanganui District Council moves to combat a spike in dogs attacking cats with a zero tolerance policy.
It comes a day after council revealed its annual dog control statistics.
Council has been receiving increasing reports of dogs attacking cats in Gonville and Tawhero.
"While our animal management officers follow up all reports of roaming dogs, we are stepping up our response over the next month. Any dogs found roaming will be immediately impounded and an infringement issued," council chief executive Kym Fell said.
"We will also pursue prosecutions of owners of dogs identified as mauling cats or any other animal." READ MORE:
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Mr Fell said people should report roaming dogs "day or night".
"We will have someone on site to investigate as quickly as possible," he said.
The crackdown comes a day after council's animal control boss revealed dog complaints were declining, despite community concerns about recent dog attacks.
Council's Dog Control 2018/2019 Annual Report shows dog-related complaints dropped to 3946 in the year to June 30, down from 4314 the previous year.
The report shows 585 infringements notices were issued in the period with 242, or 41 per cent, of those infringements written off.
"The write-offs were predominantly occurring because the people they were issued to had gained compliance," Compliance operations manager Warrick Zander said.
At Tuesday's council meeting deputy mayor Jenny Duncan said a large number of dog-related incidents occurred in the Puriri St area, and asked what was being done to address the issue.
Zander said officers were aware of the incidents and actively patrolled the area when they could.
"We have two dog traps that are currently in place and we are investigating some of the complaints of attacks - we've had a spike in attack complaints for that area.
"We continue to be available to attend priority incidents that are called through after-hours as well."
Duncan asked if it was possible for officers to patrol at night when the bulk of incidents happened, but Zander said more staff would be required to introduce a roster that covered night patrols.
The report detailed an increase in the number of dog registrations with 98.9 per cent of known dogs now registered.
"The team have been working exceptionally hard to get that figure as close to 100 per cent as possible," Zander told councillors.
Historically, the figure has sat at an average of 93 per cent and was last reported to council at around 95 per cent.
The report shows there are 8384 known dogs in Whanganui.
A document with 200 signatures of residents concerned about roaming dogs has been given to council following the spate of recent incidents.
Zander said the group's concerns would be taken into consideration when council's dog control bylaw and policy was reviewed in mid-2020.
Protect Wanganui from Roaming, Menacing Dogs organiser Jane Frericks said the group was pleased with the support from councillors, but said the middle of next year was far too slow a response.
"Since the meeting there are reports of four more cats being mauled to death," Frericks said.
"[We] hope to see action soon, whether it's a rethink of rosters so animal control officers are available to pick up dogs at night or a plan to cut down on paperwork freeing them up to catch more dogs, or both."
Because dogs often roam without their owners' knowledge, Fell reminded dog owners to check their property to ensure their dog cannot escape.
People can report roaming dogs by calling 349 0001.