Barely had the wounds healed on Dianne and Chris Bruce’s Arapawa sheep, when it was attacked by a dog for the second time.
This is the third time in recent months that dogs have attacked sheep on lifestyle blocks in Red Beach (on the Weiti River side of Whangaparaoa Peninsula).
The first attack on the Bruces’ sheep took place in June and was followed by a similar one on the neighbouring lifestyle block of Noel Marley and Max Miller (HM July 18). In total, five sheep died as a result of the attacks, which occurred overnight.
The most recent incident, on September 4, left the Bruce’s sheep, which had been badly mauled in the previous attack, unsettled and afraid but with no bite wounds thanks to quick intervention by men working on a neighbouring garden.
A black dog, described as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross with no collar, had the sheep by the throat when the men saw what was happening and chased it away.
Dianne says that Auckland Council animal control was notified of the latest attack and officers went around the neighbourhood but could not locate a dog matching the description.
“We have been keeping the sheep within an electric enclosure overnight, but let them loose in the paddock during the day because we thought they were safe,” she says. “Dog control staff have been very responsive and everyone is on high alert looking for this dog.”
Anyone who sees a dog in the vicinity of sheep is asked to try and get photographic evidence from a safe distance and call animal control on 0800 462 685 (if it is urgent), rather than take matters into their own hands.
There are a number of penalties for owners of dogs that have attacked sheep, including fines and potential prosecution as well as the possibility of the dogs being put down.