Roaming dog mauls cats

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2013

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Vicious dogs have caused devastation to a Henderson cat owner by entering her property and mauling four of her cats to death.

The Universal Drive resident, who didn't want to be named, came home from work on November 27 to find her beloved pets Bear, BB and Meerah dead on her driveway and in her neighbour's backyard.

Missy was also badly mauled and died a few moments later in her arms.

"They were rescue cats but had become my cats and were precious to me," she says.

"I never expected anything like this to happen. You put so much of yourself into animals and I'm so passionate about them.

"I'm angry, all my friends are angry and we want to see something done."

She says dog owners need to be more vigilant around containing their animals.

"People aren't keeping their dogs under control and unless welfare officers warn them, they just don't seem to care."

She believes it was two of her neighbour's dogs that attacked the cats and has lodged a complaint with Auckland Council which is investigating.

There were 140 dog attacks in Waitakere reported to council during 2012 and 2013.

The attacks were on cats, cows and other dogs.

Manager of Animal Management, Licensing and Compliance Services, Tracey Moore, says council takes all incidents seriously and The Dog Control Act 1996 enforces prosecutions against dog owners whose dogs have attacked domestic animals.

Ms Moore says the act requires dogs to be kept under control or confined to a property at all times.

"Confining a dog to a property prevents them from roaming and causing harm.

"Dogs are not allowed off leashes in public places except in designated areas and owners can reduce the risk of their dogs harming other animals by muzzling them," she says.

The act states that a person may seize or destroy a dog to stop an attack, either if they're being attacked themselves or witness a dog attacking another person, stock, domestic animal or protected wildlife.

The owner of a dog that makes an attack is liable for a fine of up to $3000 in addition to any liability for damage caused.

Ms Moore says there's no cat control laws in New Zealand and cat owners aren't required to contain their pets so the responsibility to keep dogs under control sits firmly with the dog owner.

Auckland Council encourages members of the public to report dog attacks.

Call the council on 301 0101 to report an attack or visit dogsafety.govt.nz for more information.

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