Readers help victims of pitbull attack

By Kristin Edge -
Dog attack victim Tom Morgan and his dog, Sandy.
Dog attack victim Tom Morgan and his dog, Sandy.

An American pitbull dog responsible for the attack on an elderly man and his dog in Kaikohe has been handed over to authorities and is likely to be destroyed.

While 92-year-old Jim Morgan and his dog Sandy recuperated from their injuries, animal control officers continued to investigate the Saturday morning attack on Harold Ave. Generous Northern Advocate readers were also wanting to help pay the $700 vet bill and donate gifts to make Sandy's recovery easier.

Far North District Council team leader for animal management Ken Thomas confirmed the owner had been to the council yesterday morning and signed the dog over, which would be held for seven days before being destroyed. Mr Thomas said the owner had the dog registered and was very apologetic. She had gone out and locked the dog in a shed. Mr Thomas said it was unclear if the dog had escaped by itself or been let out by teenagers at the property.

Mr Morgan was knocked to the ground by the attacking dog as it launched at Sandy.

During his attempts to defend Sandy, Mr Morgan was bitten on the hand. A neighbour managed to grab the pitbull's collar and then tie him to a post while they attended to the wounded duo. The dog was taken to the police station then handed over to animal control officers. Mr Thomas said consideration would now be given as to whether charges would be laid.

Meanwhile, former Kaikohe man Daniel Dunbar, now working as store manager for Pet Essentials in Whangarei, said he read the story and wanted to help Sandy and Mr Morgan.

"A $700 vet bill when you are 92 isn't easy to cover," Mr Dunbar said. "Hopefully this can ease the financial strain for him."

Mr Dunbar put together a pack for Sandy worth more than $400 that included a bed, leash and collar, shampoo and some meaty doggie snacks. He recalled his experiences as a paper boy in Kaikohe when he was chased by stray dogs.

- Donations for Mr Morgan and Sandy can be handed into the Northern Advocate, Robert St, Whangarei; Far North District Council in Kaikohe; the Northern Advocate office in Kerikeri; and Northland Age office in Kaitaia.

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