Hawke's Bay has a problem with roaming dogs, says 79-year-old Joan Sye.
Sye, from Hastings, knows just how much of a problem even one can be.
She was on a stroll through Akina Park on January 8 with her beloved dog Gigi when the bichon poodle was attacked by a large Staffy.
Sye put her life at risk to try to save her pet.
"I had seen this dog before and thought, 'Thank goodness it's behind a fence', but then I saw it rushing down the path."
Sye said she reacted quickly, picking up Gigi and holding her above her head, but the Staffy knocked her down and began to tear at Gigi.
"I sprained my ankle really badly and got a bite on my hand and two bleeding knees. I could hear Gigi whimpering which was just awful. Then people just rallied around me, it all just happened so fast.
"A man kicked the dog to get it away from Gigi and two strangers took charge and took her to the vet straightaway."
St John was called, but Sye said no ambulances were available, so a woman she didn't know took her home to help dress her wounds and keep her calm.
She was eventually transported to the Emergency Department of Hawke's Bay Hospital and received stitches.
"The wound on my hand was wide open and 3cm deep, the injury did nerve damage and I've been having to do exercises to get my hand moving again."
Sye, usually extremely independent, had to rely on her family for weeks as they helped her manoeuvre around her two-storey house with a badly sprained ankle and injured wrist.
"My daughter flew down from Auckland to stay with me a few days and then I was eventually able to move around with a walker."
Sye used a wheelchair when visiting the vet clinic to see Gigi who had had surgery.
"Her stomach had been ripped open by the dog, so it was all sewn up and she had a bite mark on her neck but despite all of that she got up and walked to me.
"After a few days it started to look like she was going to get better, then she ran a really bad temperature and they didn't know what was going on."
Gigi had surgery again, where gangrenous tissue was found and part of her intestine was removed. Gigi died the next morning - 10 days after the attack.
It was the second pet Sye has lost to a dog attack.
Sye then went through a gruelling court process to get justice, with the case dragging on for months.
It ended on positive terms with the woman responsible for the dog paying full reparation - more than $4000.
"She was just so embarrassed and remorseful and has taken responsibility. We had a restorative justice meeting and it's all gone really well."
The woman had registered the dog, Buffy, under her name, although it belonged to another family member who no longer lived there.
He returned to the address days after the attack, took the dog and neither have been seen since.
"That part upsets me. That the dog is still out there somewhere, it might be out of Hawke's Bay for all I know. I would never want it to attack anyone else," Sye said.
The trauma still weighs on Sye who said she was now nervous of larger dogs.
"I never used to be, I'm a real dog lover. But I know that there's others out there who have experienced what I have.
"I'm coming right slowly, I just want to thank all the people who helped me at the time and the people who continue to help me today."
THE DOG WEIGHED MORE THAN HER
Napier teenager Emily Kelly-Lowe, 15, was pinned against a fence, and bitten, by a roaming dog that weighed more than her.
The Sacred Heart College student was attacked on Tuesday trying to save her own dog from being mauled.
"I am definitely still shaken up. At the time though it was more a priority to save my dogs."
The incident occurred on Exeter Cres when Emily was with her friend Elishka. Both had a dog belonging to Emily's family on a leash, Mozart a 13-year-old corgi Jack Russell cross and Pablo a 6-year-old Chihuahua.
As the girls went past a big fence, they noticed a dog in the front lawn outside the property.
"The lawn wasn't fenced. I had my back to the property," Emily said.
Before they knew it the dog came up behind Emily and knocked her off her RipStik.
"I landed on my feet and quickly turned around, the dog then went for Mozart.
"Elishka got a huge fright, and she picked up Pablo. The other dog grabbed Mozart by the lead and pulled him down."
Both girls panicked, with Emily trying to push the dog away to rescue Mozart.
"He was ripping into Mozart, Elishka was holding on to Pablo by the lead and screaming 'No' at the dog. There was no one around to help."
The dog had a chain collar around his neck and Emily said she grabbed it and yanked the dog off Mozart.
"I was holding the dog by his collar while he tried to keep jumping for Mozart.
"I told my friend to grab my dogs in each hand and she ran back to an alleyway leading to Frimley Park. I yanked the dog right back and his collar fell off his head."
Emily said she then ran across the road to join her friend, but the dog followed.
"The person across the road has a long fence, the dog pinned me up against it. He attacked my leg, biting and gnawing, and I tried to push him away."
The attack stopped suddenly.
"Mozart had a big rip by his ribcage, and I had bite marks on my leg.
"We took Mozart to Care Vet for surgery. I went to the medical centre."
The experience has shaken Emily, but she said she's very glad she didn't lose her dogs.
"I saved their lives."
The dog that reportedly attacked Mozart was seized by Animal Control after Emily's father called them.
Animal Control said on Friday the investigation was continuing, and witnesses were being spoken to.