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Emotions are running high in Kumara on the West Coast after at least 21 chickens were killed by a marauding dog in night-time raids on local chicken coops.
Over the past couple of months, a number of residents in and around Greenstone Road and Seddon Street, along the western edge of the town, have woken up to find their chicken runs had been forced open and birds destroyed.
One woman, who declined to be named, said she lost four roosters and three chickens over the weekend.
"It's really annoying, bloody sad."
Someone had spotted the dog in her chicken run and recognised it, but did not know who it belonged to and had not seen it since.
"We've locked (the chickens) up really well at night, and done all the chook runs up. We shouldn't have to. It's not fair."
Another resident said both of her chickens had been killed, even though her chicken run was completely fenced in and covered.
"One was just completely eaten. All that was left was the egg she was going to give me. I'm too scared to get any more (chickens) until something's resolved."
She said the situation was "horrible" and a lot of residents were upset.
"People just think they're only chooks, but that's not the point.
"We've had a problem in Kumara for some time now with roaming dogs. You have your suspicions but you can't say for certain."
Westland District Council dog control officers had visited Kumara a number of times, but so far no one knew who owned the rogue dog was or exactly where it came from.
At least four households in the town had been affected so far.
SPCA Hokitika manager Louise Royal said the dog control investigation was still under way and she declined to comment further.
- Christine Linnell of the Greymouth Star