Man involved in the Wellsford shooting speaks out while bloodbath witness seeks therapy.
The man who took part in the gruesome Wellsford massacre of 33 dogs insisted that his conscience was clear last night.
Russell Mendoza is said to have shot the dogs in cold-blood with friend Tony "Tussock" Campbell after finding his fox terrier Otis mauled and dead.
The father-of-two said: "We know what we are about. We are coping just fine. A full statement will be issued by my lawyers. I will fight any charges. I don't feel I've done anything wrong."
The men will be questioned by the SPCA this week and a decision on whether they will face animal cruelty charges.
A rottweiler was yesterday guarding Mendoza's 4ha home near Wellsford, Northland. He bought the property for $650,000 about three years ago and added a pool and renovated the house.
Mendoza, who runs Home & Garden Wellsford with his wife Dale, also owns a large boat, two Holden Commodores, a Range Rover, and a motorbike.
The luxurious home is in stark contrast to his neighbour Rowan Hargreaves, the owner of the dogs. The mechanic lives in an old truck surrounded by rusting cars and rundown sheds.
The cages and truck where the executions took place are still spattered with blood.
On Friday police executed a search warrant at Campbell's property about a kilometre away and seized several firearms, including the .22 rifle and 12-gauge shotgun which were allegedly used to execute the dogs. A police spokesman said they were still deciding whether to lay charges.
Hargreaves revealed that two of the eight puppies who survived the massacre died yesterday.
He said he had barely slept since the massacre and was reluctant to return home. He was staying with friends or at his workshop in Wellsford.
Richard Hawkings, who witnessed the bloodbath, said he was seeking counselling after being traumatised by the shooting.
He said: "I was calling out to [Mendoza and Campbell] to stop. My ears were ringing with the sound of gunfire. I smashed a bottle at one point to get their attention and they looked over at me.Their eyes were totally blank. They weren't even looking at me."
Meanwhile, the owner of a dog which mauled a 12-year-old boy on the sidelines of a rugby game will be sentenced in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday. The animal should have been muzzled following an earlier attack.
The boy, who was playing on the sidelines of a Panmure rugby field, suffered extensive puncture wounds to his legs and left arm, needing surgery.
The Staffordshire-bull terrier cross was being held on a chain by owner Melvyn Toko, who couldn't control the dog when it attacked. The dog was destroyed in February last year.
- ADDITIONAL REPORTING: HEATHER McCracken