Fatal attacks by roaming dogs on cats — which left a South Auckland community grief-stricken — are now said to be under control.

Residents of Conifer Grove in Takanini claimed at least 24 felines were killed in the past two months, by packs of roaming dogs.

The shocking attacks forced the community to come together in a special public meeting, crying out to authorities for help.

Proactive Animal Management team leader Aaron Neary confirmed the attacks were now under control, with no reports of dog attacks received to date.

He said 12 dogs in and around Conifer Grove were uplifted.

“Our thoughts are with the owners of these beloved pets and we wanted residents to know we did all that we could to put a stop to the attacks,” Neary said.

He said because of the unusually high number of attacks, officers took all possible steps to address the issue, including twice-daily patrols in the area.

In March, the Animal Management unit and Manurewa-Papakura councillor Daniel Newman met with Conifer Grove residents to hear their concerns.

Arnique Anahere Toetoe, 17, broke into tears when she spoke of her family’s devastation after finding their beloved cat Boyboy dead, soaked in blood at the back of their house.

Another resident Vikram Aggarwal, 65, lost his 14-year-old cat Mattu – the pet’s body found across the road from his home.

Grace Reily said she alerted animal management when she saw her cat in a dog’s mouth, but animal management called back after 10 hours.

Animal Management officers spoke about the challenges they faced, including difficulties in catching roaming and aggressive dogs and a lack of firm evidence identifying the dogs responsible.

Neary said ultimately, the cause of the attacks was irresponsible dog ownership.

“Cat attacks, as well as attacks on other animals, people and wildlife, often occur when dog owners allow their dog to roam beyond their property.

“The dog’s sense of its territory can expand to the surrounding area, increasing the likelihood of aggressive behaviour and attacks on animals.”

He said dog owners must take all possible steps to ensure their dogs were kept safe, secured and contained on their properties and not allowed to roam.

LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.