Woman hospitalised after beach attack

A Papamoa woman was seriously injured in a dog attack while walking along the beach on Waitangi Day. File photo.

It could be months before a Papamoa woman is back to full health after she was attacked by a dog while walking along the beach.

Anita Paynter was taking an early morning walk along Papamoa Beach by herself on Waitangi Day when the attack occurred, leaving her with a serious injury.

“She walked past some people playing with their dog on the beach and just said ‘good morning',” says husband Noel Paynter.

Then he says the dog, which was unrestrained, came at Anita from behind and ‘took a chunk out of her leg'.

“The people with dog did help her home, they were very good. I think they were quite shocked that it happened, but unfortunately the damage was done.”

After returning home, Anita was driven straight to the A&E by her husband, where he says she was admitted straight away.

“They tried to do a skin graft there, but it's failed,” says Noel. “It looks like it will be several months before she is back to 100 per cent again.”

Anita spent three days in hospital, and is still going back for check-ups and treatment. Noel says she now has a ‘vacuum pump bandage' to help the wound heal better.

“It's restricted what she can do now,” he says. “And the costs are into the thousands of dollars already just for her treatment.”

He says their concern is that with so many dogs running loose on the beach now, similar attacks may become more common if there aren't stricter rules.

“I was down the beach a week or two earlier, and there would have been around 50 people on the beach with at least seven dogs running loose at the time. It's asking for trouble.

“If it had been a child, it probably would have been a fatality, when you see the big chunk that was taken out of Anita's leg.”

As a result, Noel has made a submission as part of the council's public places bylaw review advocating for stricter rules regarding dogs on beaches.

A council spokesperson says the dog involved in the attack was a Staffordshire bull terrier cross.

“The owners surrendered the dog and it has been euthanised.”

She says on average, four dogs a year are euthanised as a result of prosecution by Tauranga City Council.


This is a tough one.

Posted on 22-02-2018 21:10 | By morepork

I walk Papamoa beach frequently, I don't have a dog, but I enjoy seeing the dogs enjoying themselves. Sometimes a dog will approach, but usually only if I encourage it. Never had a problem. BUT, The priority has to be for PEOPLE (and let's remember there are children on the beach) so something definitely needs to be done. I don't want to start the old "breed" argument again (and I do believe dog behaviour is the responsibility of the dog owner), but this attack is from a known "dangerous" breed and it appears to be unprovoked. I think the owners were probably surprised by it too. Should we ensure that known attack breeds have to be on a leash if there are people within 200 metres, or something like that? If you want to let your pit bull/staffy/alsation, etc, run free, take it somewhere where people are NOT.

That's unfortunate

Posted on 22-02-2018 18:15 | By Calm down

But you can't expect that with one dog attack to tighten up rules. The hundreds of dogs on the beach each day are generally well behaved. And most people who have aggressive or poorly trained dogs are smart enough to restrain them. This situation is very unfortunate as it sounds like it was out of character for the dog, and the owners did the right thing.

Mr ken

Posted on 22-02-2018 15:49 | By pamken

i have walked my dog on Papamoa beach for the last 7yrs no trouble at all, maybe you should sue the owners of the dog, or lay some charge, that may make them think about looking after the dog when in a public place.

Joy Gone

Posted on 22-02-2018 08:39 | By longresident

No joy walking Hartford Ave to Domain on beach now. So many dogs unrestrained and run up to you barking and jumping, you worry if friendly or not. Taken joy out of beach walking

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