After a dog was violently attacked by a much larger animal while being walked at Henley Lake, its owner is concerned for the safety of others.
Jane [a pseudonym, as she wished to remain anonymous] was walking her small schnoodle around Henley Lake Park on Sunday evening at about 5pm when a larger white dog attacked her pet.
She said she isn’t good with dog breeds but believes it was a “staffy-like” breed after looking up different dog types online, describing it as a “larger solid-built dog”.
Jane had her dog on a leash and under control as she was worried about the toxic algae in the lake and did not want her dog to go near it, and she had chosen to stick to the defined paths.
The other dog was also on a leash, but the owner could not keep it under control when Jane and her pup stopped a fair distance away, and she noted the demeanour of the other dog change.
The “staffy” pounced on the schnoodle dog, clamping onto its rear and at one point raising it in the air while the owners tried to pry them apart.
“I thought my dog was going to die,” Jane said.
While it survived, it suffered extensive injuries to its lower thighs, abdomen, and hip.
After the attack, the other owner grabbed his dog and walked away, calling out apologies as he retreated.
Jane carried her dog away from where the incident occurred and ran into a couple who said she looked visibly shaken and upset.
The couple helped take Jane and her dog to the local vet, something she was very grateful for – “I was in no fit state to drive!” – and once Jane described the appearance of both the dog and its owner, she said the couple immediately said they knew who she was talking about.
“They both said, ‘That’s his car there,” and pointed to a nearby vehicle.
“One of them said he used to have two dogs, so there’s obviously been issues before,” Jane said.
“It’s a huge risk to the community.”
Despite the aggression shown toward her dog, Jane said she feels for the other dog.
“It’s probably not the dog’s fault; it’s the owner’s fault.”
She is now left with a vet bill of $1680.80 and concerns for the safety of other park users if the owner is unable to control his dog.
“If something’s not done, that dog will kill either another dog or a child or even an adult.
“A frail elderly person would not be able to fight that dog off. I wouldn’t have been able to fight it off.”
The incident has been reported to both the Masterton District Council [MDC] and police.
MDC environmental services manager Terri Mulligan confirmed to the Times-Age that the council had received a call about the attack and the incident is being followed up with a visit today by an animal and bylaw services officer, in keeping with Jane’s request.
“The officer will be getting details of the attack from the [victim dog] owner, and gathering information, including photos of any injuries,” Mulligan said.
“When the council receives reports of attacks involving dogs, the first priority is to make sure appropriate treatment has been sought for victims – animals or people.”
Mulligan said the council can only act when incidents are reported.
“Dog owners should remember that dogs are required to be kept under control at all times, including when they are in a designated off-leash area.”