More than 20 people have been attacked by dogs across Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty district in the past four months, with a number of recent serious injury incidents.
Since July 1 there were 14 reported attacks on people in the Tauranga City Council area and another nine in the Western Bay of Plenty District Council catchment area.
This includes a reported attack involving Tauranga Holistic Vets co-owner and veterinarian Dr Liza Schneider on October 14.
Schneider earlier said she was mauled by a large, "aggressive" rottweiler in the car park of the practice while greeting the dog's owners.
She said the couple's child was holding the dog on a leash when the animal suddenly leapt up at her from two metres away, latching on to her right forearm.
Schneider said she was wearing a quilted jacket and managed to raise her arm in time to prevent the dog from attacking her throat and head.
She was operated on the next day at Tauranga Hospital, which included the surgeon trying to repair torn muscles. She could be in a cast for up to 12 weeks, she said.
Schneider also said it was "still questionable" whether she would regain full mobility of her right thumb. If not, it may not be possible to operate on animal patients again.
Data obtained by the Bay of Plenty Times revealed in the year to June 30, 2020, dogs in Tauranga city attacked 50 people, compared to 60 attacks the previous 12 months.
Tauranga City Council's animal services team leader Brent Lincoln said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation into Schneider's injuries.
However, Lincoln said the council recently had a couple of reported incidents where unleashed dogs had caused "significant injury" to two people.
This is related to a pedestrian being knocked over and a cyclist being knocked off their bike. Both victims were hospitalised with serious injuries, including broken bones.
"These incidents were not acts of aggression but arose when the dogs were being walked unleashed and not under the immediate control of their owners," Lincoln said.
He said dog owners can be held to account, whether the dog attacks someone or causes injury to them because the animal had not been properly controlled.
"In these situations, owners can face significant fines or court prosecution. To avoid this, owners need to ensure they have control of their dogs at all times.
"Dog behaviour can sometimes be difficult to determine or understand and owners need to ensure the activities of their pet can't hurt anyone or other animals."
Meanwhile, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council confirmed nine people were attacked by dogs and 35 animals since July 1 this year.
A spokeswoman said 30 people and 93 animals were attacked in the 12 months to June 30, 2021. This was compared to 37 people and 102 animals in the previous year.
Tauranga City Council has 14, 708 registered dogs and another 9,578 were registered with the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.