In an official statement this week, a spokesman said police were continuing to field numerous complaints each week about uncontrolled dogs creating disturbances, attacking livestock, and threatening people.
Arorangi resident Avaiki Aperau can certainly attest to that, having had three of his pigs killed by dogs over the past few weeks.
Aperau keeps his pigs on a vacant section on the back road at Matavera, which is where the attacks took place.
The first was last month, when two of his pigs were killed. One was a pregnant sow, the other a two year old, “a good size for the umu” said Aperau.
Two weeks later a third pig was killed.
“I am very, very disturbed and annoyed,” said Aperau, who was alerted to the first dog attack after neighbours informed his son. “I came out to see for myself and I was really devastated.”
This isn’t the first time Aperau’s pigs have been killed by dogs either. A similar attack took place about a year ago, he says.
“I reported it to the police – I think the last time they managed to interview some of the local people in the area about whether or not it was their dogs or wild dogs.
“Then they came back to me to let me know that they shot two dogs. I never saw (the dogs), but that’s what they told me.”
This time around it took Aperau a bit longer to get police to respond to his complaint, but he eventually got in touch with dog control officer Noo Poila.
“We’re looking into it, but the thing is we can’t identify which dog it was that attacked,” Poila told CINews. “So it’s going to be hard for us to develop that case, because there’s no witness. We can’t just go up there and shoot dogs.”
“We will monitor the area. What we are trying to do is get some traps and place them around.”
While Aperau was unhappy with the length of time it took police to respond, he said he just wanted them to be aware of his concerns.
“I think people need to be aware of what’s happening,” he said. “I don’t see this as an isolated incident, because there are so many dogs on the island that are attacking animals – pigs, goats.
“Just imagine if this happened to your kids. Oh goodness! That would be the last thing you would want happening.”
A police statement regarding the Aperau case said police, “attend to these matters as required, and in extreme cases will put the dogs down”.
More recently, police have again reminded dog owners that they must take responsibility for their animals, saying that poor owner attitudes are building a case for “strong action”.
“All dogs need to be tagged as proof of registration. Without a tag, dogs will be subject to being put down. Non-compliant owners will be prosecuted in court.
“Police obtained legal advice on the registration of dogs and to date, the position has not changed. Dogs will be required to be registered each year as of April 1.
“Police resources will determine the timing of a compliance push and there will be no warnings other than the advice and awareness already issued.”