Dog mauling left woman looking like 'blob of blood'

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

It is still unclear why the dogs stopped their attack on a Waikato jogger. Photo / Rotorua Daily Post
It is still unclear why the dogs stopped their attack on a Waikato jogger. Photo / Rotorua Daily Post

The husband of the woman who was mauled by eight pig dogs in the Waikato said she looked like a "big blob of blood" after the attack.

Margit Christensen has undergone nine hours of surgery since yesterday's attack.

Mrs Christensen, 36, was jogging on a rural road in Puketurua, west of Putaruru in the Waikato, when the pig dogs went for her yesterday afternoon.

Her husband, Sven Christensen, said a German friend was unicycling up ahead when she heard Mrs Christensen screaming as three dogs attacked her.

"She was screaming with three dogs on her, trying to kick them off when another five or so dogs came flying across and she fell to the ground."

The friend alerted a neighbour to the attack and called Mr Christensen, who got to the scene before medical help arrived.

"By the time I got there the dogs were off ... Margit was basically just sitting, she looked like a big blob of blood on the side of the road," he said.

"Everyone could see how bad it was."

Mr Christensen said he knew the owner of the dogs personally and that she had helped get the dogs off his wife.

"She kept whacking them with sticks and they kept trying to come back and come back, and then she managed get them off."

He said he had heard neighbours saying children in the area were always scared of the dogs coming out.

"People have got to get a bit more brainy with their dogs ... no knowledge, no training, no boundaries and no discipline, you let dogs loose like that then they go back to their hunting mentality," he said.

Mrs Christensen suffered serious wounds to her head, arms and legs and was flown to Waikato Hospital where she underwent surgery.

She had lacerations to her scalp, arms and legs and is in a stable condition this morning.

Waikato hospital plastics surgery registrar Dr Katerina Anesti said she had never seen so many wounds on a patient.

"She was almost covered by dog marks - some were quite extensive but there was no major damage to tissue or organs," Dr Anesti said.

She said Mrs Christensen would have more surgery in the next two weeks.

Sergeant Jason Shailer of Putaruru police said Mrs Christensen suffered serious injuries "pretty much all over her body".

The dogs have since been seized and their owner has signed an order for their destruction.

Mr Shailer said a decision on whether the owner would be charged would be made today. He said it was still unclear why the dogs stopped attacking Mrs Christensen.

A neighbour of Mrs Christensen said he does not know why the animals gave up their attack, but he is grateful they stopped when they did.

Mrs Christensen's neighbour told the Herald a woman who had been cycling alongside her came to his door seeking help. He went to the scene and found Mrs Christensen sitting on the roadside.

"I can't describe to you what she looked like. She talked to me - she responded to my questions - but she needed help," said the man, who declined to be named.

"The dogs were long gone when we arrived. I don't know why, but it was lucky they went off like that."

Another neighbour said she was about to have lunch when she heard her dog - which was tied up - barking "madly".

"I didn't think anything of it. It was only until a few minutes later I saw a police car go past and an ambulance parked down the road ... [My dog] must have been barking at the dogs."

The Christensen family have a farm on nearby Arapuni St and a neighbour said they were well known as hard workers.

"She is an absolutely lovely lady. They're absolutely lovely people who just get stuck in and help us whenever we need it," he said.

"They are genuinely friendly and well respected on our street. That is terrible."

- ADDITIONAL REPORTING: NZ HERALD STAFF & NZPA

- NZ Herald

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