Another incident involving an off-leash dog on the Twin Coast Cycle Trail has come to light following reports of a man who needed 14 stitches after an attack by a loose pitbull.
Last week the Northern Advocate reported on a Bay of Islands man who was knocked off his bike and bitten three times near the Opua end of the trail.
A passing couple managed to stop the attack and asked for the dog owner's contact details. Those details turned out to be false but police knew the owner, who has since been visited by council animal management officers.
The Advocate understands the man claims he has since shot and buried the dog. An investigation is continuing.
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Since the initial story, the Advocate has been contacted by several people who have had incidents with off-leash dogs.
A Kawakawa grandmother, who did not want to be named, was walking the cycle trail on April 28 when her German shepherd was attacked.
She had her dog on a lead but pulled it in close and stepped back off the trail when she saw a man approaching with a small off-leash dog and two young children.
When the other dog lunged at her German shepherd, she was pulled to the ground and dragged along the trail until she freed herself from the leash, which she had wrapped around her wrist to keep it short.
The man separated the dogs but was far from repentant, she said.
''I yelled at him that he should have his dog on a lead. I was still on the ground but he got stuck into me and said I shouldn't have a dog I couldn't hold. I was hurt and upset and he didn't even ask how I was.''
The woman had cuts and scrapes to her knees, hip and shoulders. She had X-rays and would have physiotherapy once Covid-19 restrictions eased.
Someone else was looking after her dog until she had recovered enough to resume her daily walks.
The man apparently regretted what he had said because he returned later, carrying his dog, to apologise. He made other attempts to contact her in the following days.
She lodged a complaint with the Far North District Council and was interviewed by an animal management officer.
She said off-leash dogs were common on the trail, especially between Kawakawa and Taumarere. The problem had increased during the lockdown.
Far North District Council environmental services manager Rochelle Deane said the dog involved in the April 28 incident and its owner had been located. The case remained under investigation.
District councillor Kelly Stratford said, before the lockdown, she regularly walked her rottweilers on the trail but always on-lead.
A few people breaking the rules were ruining it for everybody, she said.
''People need to leash their dogs or we'll lose it,'' she said.
A council bylaw allows dogs on most of the Twin Coast Cycle Trail but they must be on a leash at all times. The maximum fine is $20,000.
Dogs are barred only on a few sections of the trail where it crosses private land.
Stratford also urged people whose dogs were aggressive towards cyclists to not only keep them on a lead but keep them close and consider using a muzzle while on the trail.
The problem had become worse during the lockdown because people were walking their dogs more and seeking trails close to home.
Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail stretches 85km from Opua in the Bay of Islands to Horeke in South Hokianga. It is part of the Ngā Haerenga national network of cycle trails and the only one north of the Waikato.