Cat-killing pack strikes again

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HOUNDED: Michelle Bolger is hoping this dog trap placed on her property by Animal Control will trap the three dogs that mauled her cat, Charlie, to death.
Photo Louis Klaassen D5326-09

RESIDENTS of a Whakatane suburb are seeking action after three dogs attacked and mauled a cat to death and may be the same animals that have caused other incidents in the area.

Michelle Bolger is devastated after the dogs, two white pit bulls with tan patches and a husky-cross, attacked her cat Charlie last Thursday about 8pm while it was sitting on the front doorstep of her Edgewater Grove home in Awatapu.
She posted a Facebook message about the attack and has received a flood of responses, many from people in the neighbourhood who have also had encounters with possibly the same dogs.

Mrs Bolger’s cat was a small female tortoiseshell that she had owned for five years.

“We heard barking and my husband looked out the window and saw three dogs on our cat. The cat managed to drag itself under the car,” Mrs Bolger said.

Only a little while before, Mrs Bolger had called her two children, aged four and six, and her dog into the house. They had been playing outside the front door minutes before the attack, and she feared what might have happened had the dogs come across her children.

Mrs Bolger said pandemonium broke out as she and her husband tried to chase the dogs away and save the cat, phone Animal Control and chase the dogs in her car. The cat was rushed to the vet with multiple broken ribs, abdominal punctures and torn muscles and ligaments. It could not be saved and died on Sunday.

“You don’t expect your cat to get mauled on your doorstep. My son is having nightmares that the dogs are coming back for him,” Mrs Bolger said.

Mrs Bolger said the dogs ran off toward nearby Riding for Disabled paddocks, and they could not find them. “We think they may be the same dogs that attacked the cat next door,” she said.
Neighbour Trish Martin, said her cat, Molly, had come rushing into the house and had a scratch on its leg, moments before the attack on Charlie.

“It looks like the dogs tried to grab it by the leg but it got away. It is one lucky cat.”

She said her cat was now traumatised and reluctant to leave the house.

Mrs Bolger’s husband Wade said he had spoken to another neighbour who said two of his cats had been killed by dogs in the area.

Mrs Bolger said she contacted Animal Control, which said it needed photos or an address for the dogs. Animal Control placed a dog trap on Mrs Bolger’s property should the dogs come back.

Whakatane District Council community regulation manager Graeme Lewer said after-hours staff responded to the call at about 2am. They searched the area but could not find the dogs. He said such attacks and roaming dogs were “not a problem particular to Awatapu”.

“Every now and again a couple of dogs might come out in a pack and roam the streets at night and get into mischief like this, but it is not always in Awatapu, it could be anywhere,” Mr Lewer said.

However, another nearby resident, who did not wish to be named, said she lived in a fully fenced property but what she believed were the same dogs were regularly jumping her fence and had terrorised her family and pets.

“My children do not play outside anymore as it is too unsafe,” she said. “I am sick of ringing the pound and getting nowhere.”

She said the dogs were in Awatapu “somewhere” but she didn’t know where.

Daniel Jessop, who lives in Cleary Avenue, said it sounded like the same dogs that killed his guinea pigs and rabbit last year, and tried to have a go at him as well.

“These dogs are very aggressive and I know they would have no problem attacking a child,” he said.

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