Dog on loose after more than 40 sheep killed in Hastings

One of two dogs who mauled and killed more than 40 sheep in Hastings over the weekend is still on the loose.

One was a white and black dog, the other believed to be a black Labrador/bull terrier cross with a white stripe on its chest.

The white and black dog has been caught – its owner was unknown to animal control as the dog is unregistered - but animal control officers in the region are still looking for the black dog with the white stripe.

Witnesses say the dog on the loose was covered in blood so its owners will know it has been involved, Hastings Council regulatory solutions manager John Payne says.

He told 1 NEWS the council is investigating the incident which happened in the Bridge Pa area. At least seven sheep were killed on Valentine Road and then it appears the dogs moved to Equestrian Lane where at least 34 sheep were killed, with several more badly injured.

The reported attacks on Saturday night are related, Mr Payne says.

"In a very short time a pet dog can cause thousands of dollars damage and significant inhumane suffering," he says. "You cannot breed this killing instinct out of the species."

The owner of a dog that attacks stock is liable for the damage they cause, a fine of up to $3000 and the dog can be destroyed on the spot.

"Please ensure your dog is kept under proper control at all times - particularly at night," Mr Payne advised.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says council are working to get to the bottom of incident and urge people to register their dogs and ensure they know where they are at all times.

"If you have any information about this incident, please let our staff know," she says.

Police are not involved in the incident.