A Hastings woman says a court decision to destroy her dog for attacking a nurse is "heartbreaking".
Pounamu Morunga-Cooper, 20, appeared in the Hastings District Court on Tuesday charged with owning a dog that caused injury after her mastiff labrador cross, Smokey, attacked the nurse during a home visit in Hastings.
The incident occurred on March 24, when the nurse phoned and a pre-arranged to visit a Bledisloe St house, the home of the patient who is Morunga-Cooper's grandfather.
She'd never visited the address before and saw on the file that a dog was on the property. Upon arrival she called Morunga-Cooper's grandfather from outside and was advised it was safe to come in.
Upon entering the property she couldn't help but notice a "barking" and "aggressive" dog behind a second gate further up the drive. She tried to avoid walking too close to the fence where he was and walked diagonally across the lawn to the front door.
When was halfway there, Smokey launched himself over the fence and rushed at her. He bit her feet, causing her to fall forward onto the ground.
The nurse was nearly at the front steps with one hand on the step and the other over her head to protect herself. The dog then bit through her uniform and latched onto her right buttock as she screamed for help. Another woman rushed out of the house and yelled at the dog and the nurse was able to make it into the house.
X-rays showed the woman suffered serious deep puncture wounds and brusing to her right buttock, the biggest being 2cm long and 2.5cm deep.
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Judge Bridget Mackintosh said "it had turned out to be quite a nasty incident" and ordered the destruction of the dog.
Morunga-Cooper said the experience was "a lesson in life" and although she pleaded guilty to the charge, she knew the decision regarding Smokey was inevitable.
"It's going to be real heartbreaking. It's tough thing to do, but the right thing to do," she said.
"We agreed to have Smokey put down so it wouldn't prolonge the process, and Smokey wouldn't have to suffer any longer in the pound."
She said it would be the first time she's ever lost a pet and described the entire ordeal as "stressful and draining".
"The pound will be contacting me on when they will be putting him down so that me and my family can be there when they do it."
Morunga-Cooper will be sentenced in July.