Dog attacks 'now out of control'

By AMY SHANKS

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David Hannay says something should be be done to prevent a growing "epidemic" of dog attacks in the Napier suburb of Maraenui, after two pitbulls savagely mauled his two-year-old sharpei.

Paua, a beloved family dog died overnight on Tuesday due to an infection resulting from horrific injuries received during last Wednesday's attack.

Mr Hannay was walking his son and three other children home from Te Awa Primary School along the green belt, with Paua on a leash, when two pitbulls jumped a 6ft fence and rushed at them.

"I didn't see the first pitbull coming, until he latched onto my dog's face, then a lab x pitbull attacked the other side.

"One of them let go and started bailing up the kids. I had four of them with me so I dragged my dog around and put him in between them, I told the children to run away and wait for me."

The attack continued for about 15 minutes, until a man from a nearby house hit one of the dogs with a trampoline pole and they both let go. But it didn't end there.

"I told my dog to run, he's trained to run and then stop," Mr Hannay said. "But he got attacked a second and third time."

Paua suffered severe wounds to his face, neck and chest, which required staples. His cheek muscles and throat were also crushed, so he was unable to eat and his health began to deteriorate.

"Pitbulls have a huge amount of crush power, they rip and they tear the flesh away. [Paua] lost bits of his face and ear and had to have his skin stapled back on."

Mr Hannay was outraged that such dangerous dogs could fall into the wrong hands. "Pitbulls are alligators and these idiots think they can train them, you have got to have the knowledge to know how to control them. Mr Hannay has dealt with pitbulls when he used them for pig hunting and knew they could be lethal. "I remember back in 1989, I heard of people having them as pets, but they are a hunting dog, I couldn't believe it. Now, it's an epidemic."

However he admitted the pitbull problem was not easily curbed.

"The more you raise the registration costs, it just drives these dogs underground.

"People need to speak up. If their neighbour has a dangerous dog, or one that hasn't been registered they shouldn't be afraid to call dog control."

He hoped something positive would come from the death of a dog, he described as a "hero".

"I don't want my dog to have died for nothing, but if something good comes out of this I will be happy. If one person says I can't control my alligators and gives them up, that's a victory."

Council regulatory services manager Mike Webster said both dogs involved in the "particularly savage attack," were yet to be located.

"It's more than we can't find them, it appears the dogs have been moved for the express purpose of keeping them from us.

"Normally vicious dogs would be impounded during the investigation, but in this case that was not possible.

"The owners have been served with infringement notices, including obstructing an officer."

 

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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