Dogs on killing spree
Pensioner Olive Saunders lost her companion of 14 years when a pair of dogs on a killing spree in Feilding mauled her cat.
Mrs Saunders' pet Mishka was taken by the throat on Monday morning by one of the dogs that has claimed five known victims in northern Feilding since late last month.
A red boxer and a dark-coloured huntaway are believed to be behind the attacks.
Manawatu District Council animal control officer Lesley Butler said the animals were still on the loose.
Mrs Saunders' cat was born on the first day of the millennium and had lived with her since she was 7 weeks' old.
A visibly upset Mrs Saunders said losing her beloved cat had been traumatic.
"It's just like losing a baby," she said. "I just don't know how I'm going to get on without her. She was just so beautiful, it's just a shock."
In her eighties, Mrs Saunders has two photo albums dedicated to Mishka, who she described as large, energetic and intelligent. Mrs Saunders could talk to her and she provided company for the widow.
"I wouldn't have another one now, it's a bit too late."
Her daughter Eunice Hughes said people needed to realise it wasn't just the pets affected by the killer dogs, their deaths also had an emotional impact on owners.
The incident happened outside Mrs Saunders' pensioner flat in Derby St just before 7am on Monday.
Her neighbour saw Mishka in the mouth of one of the dogs, which was running along the street followed by the other dog. From a distance she thought it could have been a baby as she chased the dogs, yelling at them to drop it.
"If she hadn't seen what happened I wouldn't have known where my cat had gone," Mrs Saunders said.
The cat was taken to the vet but had to be put down.
The council is warning people to keep pets inside as much as possible, especially at night and early morning until the dogs are caught.
This month's attacks have happened in Derby, York, Denbigh and Duke streets, all in the northern part of town.
It's been a bad few years for Feilding cats. The spate of killings comes three years after a pit bull-shar pei cross and a huntaway-mastiff cross killed nine cats in southern Feilding.
Those dogs were found after help from the public.