A 50-year-old Kaitaia woman who was attacked by a large tan dog is now wary of leaving her home.

The woman, who did not wish to be identified, said she was walking on the track between Masters St and Bonnetts Rd, just 100m from her home, about 3pm on Monday when she heard a "scuffling" noise behind her.

As she turned to see what it was, the dog launched itself at her, taking hold of her upper left arm, inflicting puncture wounds and extensive bruising.

She managed to shake the dog off but it bit her again, in the right hip, before she was able to kick it in the chest, at which point it ran off.


She said she believed she had only managed to keep her feet because she was turning as the dog attacked, spinning her around rather than knocking her to the ground. She had no doubt that the dog was a rhodesian ridgeback, which she said she had not seen before.

Two police officers knocked on doors the length of the street shortly after the attack, but no one they spoke to was able to identify the dog or say where it lived.

Meanwhile, the woman said the police, a St John ambulance and Far North District Council animal control officers arrived at her home quickly.

She had suffered a "bit of an epileptic turn" before the ambulance arrived, and a more significant one while it was there, but was treated at home rather than going to hospital, at her request.

"I think I was in shock. I didn't want to move," she said.

"I'm okay now [on Tuesday], but I'm wary of going anywhere."

A Far North District Council spokesman said the attack had been reported to animal control by the police.

Kaitaia police Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan said efforts to find the dog were continuing.

Neither the police nor the council were aware of an alleged attack on two dogs being walked by their owner in the same area a day or two before, the council spokesman saying not all incidents were reported.

The council announced it would take a tougher stance on irresponsible dog owners in light of recent attacks, and said it would vigourously pursue offending dog owners and take them to court.

However, it would need the help of the public to supply quality evidence required to take cases to court.