A 95-year-old Kaikohe man whose beloved pet had to be put down just six weeks ago after a vicious dog attack has now himself been attacked by dogs.
Jim Morgan made headlines and sparked a nationwide outpouring of support in December when a pack of dogs savaged his jack russell-cross Sandy — Morgan's only companion since his wife's death several years ago — while the pair were out walking.
On Monday, however, Morgan himself was attacked by two dogs which came running out of a property on Kaikohe's Harold Ave.
One tore his shorts and bit him on the hip before someone at the property pulled the dogs off.
The incident occurred about 2.40pm on Monday a short distance from Morgan's home, neighbour Cynthia Moran said.
He told her four dogs were playing in a front garden when two rushed out and attacked, leaving him badly shaken and with ''a nasty bite'' on his hip. The dogs' teeth had punctured his skin but he didn't want to see a doctor.
''Thank God someone came out and pulled the dogs off, or it would have been a lot worse.''
Moran said her elderly neighbour insisted on continuing his thrice daily walks, even after the death of Sandy. His hearing and sight were poor so he wouldn't have noticed the dogs coming until it was too late, she said.
Moran said she was fed up and wanted the council to take firm action.
''They have to clean up the place, even if it means going to every individual house in Kaikohe. We see people walking their dogs with nothing to control them every day. It's an accident waiting to happen,'' she said.
Far North District Council environmental services manager Darren Edwards said he was ''appalled and angry'' Morgan had again been the victim of a dog attack.
''It is unacceptable that any members of our community feel unsafe when walking in public. It is especially shocking when it is someone who is among those most vulnerable is attacked.''
Animal management officers interviewed Morgan at his home yesterday morning, then visited the property where the dogs came from.
No one was home and the two terrier-cross dogs were not there. A young dog at the property was not impounded.
Officers returned in the afternoon but there was still no sign of the dogs or their owner.
The dogs had not previously been reported for aggression but records showed they were not registered. Once located they would be impounded until the investigation was complete.
If it was found the dogs were not under control the owner would be prosecuted and, if necessary, the dogs destroyed.
Since the December 16 attack council officers had stepped up door-to-door registration checks of dogs in the Harold Ave area, resulting in dogs being impounded and "notices to register" issued.