Dog attacks need action - residents (+video)

By Kristin Edge -

For a decade Garry and Cynthia Moran have seen first-hand the human carnage created by vicious dog attacks in their Northland street and say it's time for authorities to get tough on wandering dogs and owners before someone is killed.

Garry and Cynthia Moran have dealt with dog attack victims in their street for a decade, now they want council action before someone is killed. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Garry and Cynthia Moran have dealt with dog attack victims in their street for a decade, now they want council action before someone is killed. Photo / Michael Cunningham

The couple said it was absolutely traumatic being at the "coal face" helping victims covered in blood get medical help after being attacked on Harold Ave in Kaikohe.

Far North District Council records show that in 2010 there were 135 reported dog attacks, including 21 in Kaikohe, 20 in Kaitaia and 19 in Kerikeri. In 2014 attacks rose to 198 of which 38 were in Kaitaia, 33 in Kaikohe and 19 in Kawakawa.

Already this year there have been 44 reported attacks with 10 in Kaitaia, and seven in Kaikohe.

In the latest incident on Harold Ave the Morans helped 92-year-old Jim Morgan who was knocked to the ground by an American pitbull as it launched at his dog Sandy while out walking on Saturday at 9am. Mr Morgan tried to fend off the dog but was bitten on the hand and lay on the road screaming for help as Sandy was attacked. The duo were left injured and badly shaken by the ordeal.

"It's absolutely traumatising. We are dealing with this on the coal face," Mrs Moran said. "I challenge the administrators who are sitting on their hands to walk the streets of Kaikohe with a dog, particularly in the evenings, and see what happens."

The couple renewed their calls first made 10 years ago to clamp down on irresponsible dog owners in the area.

"Nothing has changed over the last 10 years. There seems to be not enough boots on the ground to deal with the issue," Mrs Moran said.

Over the years they had spoken with council officials and mayors including the latest mayor John Carter about getting tough on stray dogs.

"They were going to ban dogs in the main street but there are still people walking massive dogs on chains big enough to tow a bulldozer. They use them to intimidate people and it shouldn't be allowed," Mrs Moran said.

Mr Moran said when a dog came to the attention of council the owner should have to supply a detailed business plan for the dog's future or else it would not be returned.

"They need to lay down the law and enforce it. If they don't more than likely someone is going to die and it will probably be a child."

Night patrols would also reveal dogs roaming after dark. Friends had told them they no longer walked or biked on Kaikohe streets for fear of dog attacks.

FNDC team leader for animal management Ken Thomas confirmed dog control officers went door to door on Monday in Harold Ave checking who owned dogs and if they were registered.

"There were some dogs that weren't in our system but are now. In lower socio-economic households dog registration tends not to be at the top of the list. They are not bad people they just have other priorities so we will help them become compliant."

Meanwhile, Sandy was taken to the vet after shaking badly yesterday. He was given some intensive pain killers.

Mr Morgan was overwhelmed by a $400 pet gift donated by Pet Essentials, Whangarei. "I wasn't expecting that sort of thing."

Offers of help to pay a $700 vet bill have come from round the country.

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