One of two dogs that mauled a Whangārei man when he tried to separate the fighting animals was unregistered and unchipped.
Horrified neighbours witnessed the attack on Leith St, Morningside, about 9.40am yesterday and called 111.
Whangārei District Council manager health and bylaws, Reiner Mussle, said one dog was an American bulldog and was registered and chipped.
The other, a labrador, was unregistered and unchipped.
Both dogs were impounded and have since been treated for their injuries.
The injured man suffered serious injuries to his hands and arms and was taken in an ambulance to Whangārei Hospital, where he was admitted in a stable condition.
He was initially treated at the property where the attack happened and both hands were seen heavily bandaged before he was walked down the driveway by two St John paramedics to a waiting ambulance.
A police officer was at the scene as were two animal control officers working for WDC contractor Armourguard.
A woman who lives next door said she was woken up by her sister who heard two people screaming.
"We were like 'what the hell is that' and when I looked we looked out the window, there were two dogs going at each other. The guy got in the middle and was getting bitten."
Another neighbour said the bitten man was calling him but he wouldn't get involved.
"He was on the ground sliding everywhere. I thought that was end of him. He was yelling 'help me, get over here' but there was no way I'd gone over there."
He rang police.
He said children could not play outside without the dogs charging at them because the property where the attack happened was not fenced.
Mussle said the fate of the two dogs would be decided later.
"Our contractor is still obtaining statements from the dog owners and witnesses and once the files have been completed, they will be assessed by council staff to establish what, if any, action can be taken against the dogs and their owners."