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10 hours in ED after bite

A Featherston man spent almost 10 hours in the emergency department after being attacked by a dog in a Masterton supermarket car park earlier this month.

Perry Cameron the surprise attack came during a routine trip to Masterton’s Pak’nSave on 8 July.

A spokesperson for the Masterton District Council [MDC] confirmed the incident and said their animal control team are investigating it.

Cameron has since needed ongoing treatment to his right hand, which remains bandaged. Initially, he had limited use of the hand, but that has since improved. He was prescribed antibiotics and painkillers for more than two weeks after the attack.

He said the attack happened during a Saturday afternoon supermarket visit when the car park was full. He understood the dog’s owner was also based in Featherston, and said he reported the issue to MDC but has not yet heard the outcome.

He is concerned the dog might attack others if the council does not take steps to mitigate any risk.

Perry said the Saturday visit to the supermarket had started off like any other.

“We decided to have an afternoon trip to Masterton and thought we would check in at Pak’nSave on our way home,” he said.

“The car park was very full, so we had to walk through rows of parked vehicles. As I was approaching the Pak’nSave main door, there was a barking dog inside a parked car. The window happened to be about halfway down.

“It lunged out through the gap at me and bit my shirt.”

Cameron said he was worried the dog might also attack his partner, who was just behind him.

“It then had another attempt at me as I was about to continue, and seized my right hand,” he said.

“It only held on for a few seconds, but it was a very firm and aggressive grip.”

Cameron’s hand before receiving medical attention

Cameron managed to get away but “realised quite significant damage had been done”.

About half a dozen “totally horrified” shoppers had gathered when they heard the noise, with one helping provide first aid for the injury.

Cameron said by then, the dog’s owner had arrived and was visibly upset, describing the dog as the family pet.

He spent the next 10 hours in Wairarapa Hospital ED, only arriving home at about 2am on Sunday morning.

An MDC spokesperson said an animal and bylaw services after-hours officer responded to a report of an attack in the supermarket car park on the day of the incident.

The spokesperson confirmed the dog’s owner is not a Masterton district resident.

“MDC Animal Services are currently investigating the incident and have been in contact with both parties. No decision has been made as to any outcome at this stage.”

The MDC spokesperson reminded people to keep their dogs under control in such situations.

“MDC Animal Services Team would like to remind dog owners of the importance of securing dogs in or on vehicles in a manner that prevents them from getting their heads out of windows, or in the case of open-backed vehicles, so the dog cannot reach over the edge of the vehicle.

“Securing dogs in crates is a good way to reduce the risk of this type of incident,” the spokesperson said.

– NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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