A border collie’s “horrific injuries” have healed six weeks after her throat was “ripped open” by two dogs that came onto her owner’s property in the Bay of Plenty.
Warning: This story contains graphic images and content
Molly was all smiles and wags, if not a little hot, when Local Democracy Reporting recently caught up with her and her owner Paul Gibbs.
Gibbs said she had her last vet appointment for the injuries yesterday.
The 13-year-old dog had a wound on the top of her head that only just closed up in the last couple of days, he said.
On December 4, Molly was relaxing on the grass when two German Shepherds came onto the Whakamārama property after leaping from a ute at a nearby petrol station.
Gibbs said they chased his son’s dog up the driveway then came across Molly. He didn’t see the attack but was shocked to find her bleeding from the neck.
At first he thought someone had put a red collar on his dog, then after a closer look realised she was bleeding from “horrifying” gaping wounds and her neck had been “ripped open”.
“She literally had stitches from the top of her neck, right around to the bottom.”
Molly required two surgeries and Gibbs estimated she needed at least 50 stitches. She also had daily vet visits to check the wounds.
“She’s such a placid dog and for that to happen to her, it was just devastating.”
He hadn’t received a final vet bill but the first surgery cost $1500 and the second was $2300.
Gibbs was also bitten on the hand when he tried to stop the owner of the German shepherds leaving his property.
The man came up his driveway to collect his dogs, Gibbs said. Gibbs reached into the man’s car to try stop him leaving and was bitten by him.
“It was quite painful. I had to go to the doctor to get a tetanus shot and get it treated.”
The wound has healed but a red mark remains visible.
Gibbs flagged down a passing police officer who attempted to stop the driver leaving. He said the police put out road spikes, but the driver avoided them and drove away.
He reported the attack to the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, and he is considering filing an assault charge with police against the dog owner for biting him.
Molly’s temperament has returned to normal but she was weary of other dogs during vet visits, said Gibbs.
“She would cower away from me, [which] was horrible to see [as] she’s never done that.”
A police spokesperson confirmed an officer assisted after a dog attack at a Whakamārama property and the matter had been referred to animal control.
Gibbs said he believed the dogs should have been taken off their owner when the attack first happened.
He was concerned the dogs could attack another dog or a person.
“I think they [the council] were all a bit blasé about it. I felt like they didn’t see the seriousness of it.”
Western Bay of Plenty District Council team leader animal services Peter Hrstich said the council was still investigating the incident and there weren’t any updates.
“We are aware of a dog attack that took place at a private property in Whakamārama on 4 December.
“It is important that we take the necessary time to gather and compile all the evidence available to us, before coming to a decision.”
By Alisha Evans, Local Democracy Reporter
Local Democracy Reporting is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air