Mac, the friendly golden labrador, "wouldn't hurt a fly" so when he was savagely attacked by a stray dog in Dargaville his family was devastated.
They're now renewing a call for better dog control resources in the district.
Isobel Ross was walking Mac down Hokianga Rd in Dargaville last Tuesday when he was attacked by a pitbull, causing "horrendous" injuries.
Ross told the Advocate the experience had been "psychologically traumatic" and she has since been hospitalised for stress.
"When I go to bed, I keep seeing Mac with his legs in the air and this, this dog on his throat."
She cannot talk about the incident without crying.
The attack resulted in surgery and stitches to Mac's throat as well as two drains which will need to be removed.
The bill so far has amounted to $800 which Ross says will only increase as Mac requires further treatment.
"Mac is one of the family. He's 11 or 12 so he's an old fellow – and he's a lovely dog."
The Ross family is now calling on the Kaipara District Council to do more about the ongoing saga of roaming dogs attacking people, their pets and killing cats.
Her son Michael Ross said that with all the media attention and posts on social media demanding the council do something about the issue of roaming dogs, he and his mother had hoped more resources would be applied to the issue.
He said the family was told a new staff member dealing with dog and noise control was only employed to work 45 hours per month.
''That's just not good enough,'' Ross said.
A council spokesman confirmed a dog attack had been reported to Armourguard and said ''it may relate to an incident in Hokianga Road''.
"As it is under investigation I can't confirm any other details,'' he said.
"Council has not employed a new dog control officer in the area. There have, however, been more patrols over the last month to address concerns of the community.''
Regulatory manager Dean Nuralli has previously stated the council was in the process of investigating the most cost-effective way of providing an efficient animal control service.
"This may mean that the service may be brought 'in house' in the future which may well provide for a more vigilant approach to dog issues as recently conveyed to [the] council.''
Animal control services are contracted to Armourguard until September 2019, Nuralli said.
Last year it was reported that roaming dogs were to blame for a cat killing spree in Dargaville.
Joanne Williams started a petition because she was "sickened" to hear about the attacks. Williams claimed there had been multiple killings of pet cats, rabbits and guinea pigs.
The petition called Let's Make Kaipara Safe currently has over 500 signatures.
Earlier this year, elderly Dargaville man Graham Jones was attacked by a pack of dogs. He too created a petition requesting council do more about roaming dogs, and is an avid campaigner for the issue.
"This is exactly the sort of thing we're campaigning for, to put a stop to such incidents. I'm distressed that even though they had the petition before them at the meeting last month, together with copies previously circulated, all the council have done is 'call for a report'.''
Armourguard did not respond to requests for comment.