A Bay of Plenty woman is in Waikato Hospital lucky to be alive after being mauled in a savage two hour dog attack by an American pitbull /staffordshire terrier cross.
The 65-year-old grandmother suffered serious injuries including having her arm stripped of flesh as a result of the attack by the three and a half-year-old dog in Rotorua.
The dog was owned by her grandson, who was living with her but believed to have recently moved out. The woman had asked for the animal to be left in her care for company when the attack happened.
Detective Senior Sergeant Zane Smith says it is too early to say whether or not charges will be laid.
“The woman is still in hospital and we won’t be interviewing her until she is well enough,” says Zane.
“It is too early to speculate on whether charges will be laid. Investigations continue. It is going to take a bit of time.”
The un-neutered pitbull cross has now been destroyed with permission from the owner.
The woman was taken to Rotorua Hospital by St John Ambulance paramedics after being found with injuries at her Rotorua home at about 11am on Saturday, July 28.
Rotorua District Council Animal Control Officer Dylan Wright was the handler called to the scene by St John Ambulance staff. He wrangled the animal with a dog control pole, but reported the dog was pretty manageable when he arrived.
Upon arrival, Dylan immediately called his supervisor Kevin Coutts.
Rotorua District Council Animal Control supervisor Kevin Coutts says Dylan has been an animal control officer for 12 months and this is probably the worst attack he will ever see.
“These dogs are dangerous. Pitbulls account for 1.53 per cent of the national dog population, yet are responsible for 18 per cent of dog attacks. Before pitbulls came into the country we’d get dog bites but nothing like this.”
“People claim they are safe and they leave them with their kids. I say as long as they aren’t my kids. Once you start getting attacked by a dog like that there is very little you can do.”
A Waikato Hospital spokesperson confirmed the woman is in a stable condition today.
The woman’s right arm was eaten through below the elbow, exposing bones and leaving a wound approximately 15cm to 20cm long and between 5cm and 8cm wide in the attack.
Flesh has been stripped from her forearm and she has large bite wounds on her upper arm and biceps.
The Rotorua District Council is scheduled to debate current Dog Control Bylaw and Policy at a meeting scheduled for August 7.