Dog attack didn't have to happen

By Andrew Austin

1 comment


Katrina Smith is a very brave woman.

She has been through more trauma than any human being deserves - all because an animal was not properly controlled.

Mrs Smith is the Dannevirke mother of two who was the victim of a vicious dog attack when she was going to a client's property to clean his house in April this year.

All she was wanting to do was earn an honest living when she fell victim to an unprovoked attack.

Not only did she suffer horrific facial wounds, but she also had a fractured and dislocated shoulder, a broken arm, irreparable nerve damage to her face and injuries to her eye.

If the physical damage was not enough, she has also had to deal with the emotional trauma of the attack.

The scars - both physical and emotional - will remain for some time, but hopefully Mrs Smith got some satisfaction in seeing Daryn Paul Boyden, the owner of the American bulldog shar-pei cross that attacked her, convicted and ordered to pay $5000 in emotional reparation.

Hopefully the money will come in handy in her recovery and hopefully the outcome will be a warning to other owners who do not properly control their dogs.

The judge accepted Boyden's good character, but that is not really the issue.

He may even be a nice guy, but he messed up big time by keeping his dog on a chain that was long enough for it to reach Mrs Smith as she climbed out of her car.

The fact that he defended the charge in the beginning was also not a good thing because it just stretched out the process for Mrs Smith and her family.

He should also have warned Mrs Smith that the dog was becoming more aggressive.

I am a dog lover and I am about to buy a new dog for my children, but I can't stand it when dogs run wild while their owners pay them no attention.

Dogs need to be controlled on the beach, in the park or even at home.

A wild, vicious dog is a dangerous weapon and people like Katrina Smith need to be protected. Dog owners need to take responsibility for their pets.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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