Young mum injured in dog attack

By Phillipa Webb of the Gisborne Herald

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A dog attack on a young mum has sparked a warning to dog owners to keep dangerous animals off the streets.

Jess Bridson began her Boxing Day with a fright when she heard a young boy screaming.

"I looked outside and saw our neighbour's two dogs nearly attacking an eight-year-old boy on his bike."

Ms Bridson ran to the boy's aid and told him to cycle away while she distracted the dogs.

She chased the dogs back to their property but when she turned to walk back the dogs attacked her.

"I don't know which one bit me but one of the dogs tore my leg open, leaving a puncture wound and a lot of bruising."

Ms Bridson went next door where her neighbours took a photo of her leg and patched her up before she went to Gisborne Hospital.

It was the second dog bite the emergency doctor had treated that day, said Ms Bridson. The neighbours had already contacted the council that morning complaining about the dogs' barking.

People surrounding the property have made many complaints about the two mixed-breed (labrador/greyhound) dogs for loud barking and fighting.

Ms Bridson is a mother of seven-year-old and five-year-old boys, and said the attack made her wary of the dogs.

"Those dogs would have seriously attacked that boy if I hadn't helped him," she said. "The attack makes me worried about my own boys, who are already very wary of the dogs."

Ms Bridson was going to the council today to find out whether the dogs would be destroyed.

"It will be difficult to decide because only one dog bit me," she said. "But at the end of the day they were both part of the attack, so I hope they are destroyed."

Ms Bridson blamed the attack on the owners' negligence and inability to keep their dogs locked behind secure fences.

"The house has a large fence but the dogs are often left roaming around the streets."

The bruising around the bite was worse today[27/12], making it difficult to walk, she said.

"I was about to go for a run before it all happened but I doubt I will be running for a while."

Gisborne District Council animal control team leader Steve Greaves said he was talking with the owners and it was "highly likely" both dogs would be destroyed. It was not the first time animal control had been called to the property. He urged all owners to keep their dogs properly restrained or confined.

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