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Leash message reiterated after pit bull attacks poodle

A woman's poodle crossbreed suffered multiple bite wounds when it was attacked by a pit bull in Gisborne on Sunday.

Ro Darrall was walking her dog Doris on a leash in Railway Lane when she saw the pit bull. It was with its owner but not on a leash.

“The dog went for Doris,” said Ms Darrall. “The owner tried to get the dog off Doris but she wasn't very successful. The attack seemed like an eternity.”

Ms Darrall rushed her dog to a veterinary clinic.

An animal control officer located the pit bull and impounded it.

After spending a day at the clinic Doris is back at home.

“She's not too good,” says Ms Darrall.

“She's got quite a few stitches, bruising and a couple of drains.

“She had a rough time. The dog just jumped on her. It was terrible. The bites are deep and she has some tissue damage. She has multiple wounds and one is particularly big.”

The pit bull remains in the pound and at this stage will not be returned to the property, says animal control team leader Ross Hannam.

“We have had problems with this dog before. Once again we remind dog owners to be responsible. Ensure dogs are securely contained on your property and if you're taking them out for a walk, they must be on a leash.”

Under Covid-19 Alert Level 4 rules, dogs must be kept on leashes in public areas, even in ordinarily leash-free zones.

In an online video posted on Monday, Mayor Rehette Stoltz reinforced the message.

“When you go outside to exercise, please keep your dog on a leash. I'm aware one of my dear friend's dog was attacked yesterday. That's just not good enough.

“When we do go out please make sure you keep your dogs on leashes because you cannot control your dog rushing towards another family if you do not have it on a lead.”

NASTY WOUNDS: Poodle-cross Doris is back at home with owner Ro Darrall and recovering from surgery after she was attacked by a pit bull in an otherwise quiet Whataupoko lane on Sunday. The dog that attacked Doris was not on a leash — a requirement under Covid-19 Alert Level 4. 'When you go outside to exercise, please keep your dog on a leash,' said Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz. Picture supplied

  1. Gabrielle, Rangitikei says:

    Pitbulls are inherently dangerous, off-leash or not. A pitbull intent on attacking another dog is virtually impossible to control, even by the strongest of handlers. They are even harder to stop once the attack has begun. They should be muzzled when in public but very few of their owners abide by this law. There is no place for fighting/blood-sport breeds in society and certainly not around our children or other animals. Anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to own a dog that is genetically wired to maul and kill other dogs cannot call themselves an animal lover.

    1. Lee, Hamilton says:

      I tend to disagree – I love the pitbull breed and have owned them since very young. Yes, some are genetically formed to be aggressive for intentions of dog fighting which, way back years, was what they were breed for . . . and the dog fighting was in a controlled environment. By means of throwing in the towel if the owner felt his dog was on the losing side; treated for wounds straight away, like human fighting in the boxing ring. Because I love pitbulls, you claim it makes me not an animal lover – I love all breeds of dogs but choose to own pitbulls. My dogs are well controlled, and always on a leash and muzzled. I protect them from the public and other dogs, not the other way, because I love my dogs enough to keep the public and their loved pets safe from mine or vice versa.

      1. Lizo says:

        The fact that you have to keep your pitbull on leash and protect “other dogs” from yours says a lot about them. Why do you choose to endanger poor dogs and small children by owning a breed which is know to mutilate? I’m not saying that other dogs don’t attack but a pitbull attack is on a different scale because it can easily be lethal. Think about your choices and the fear you impose on others. I’ve personally witnessed my dog being a victim of a pitbull attack who was never abused in her life and raised like a princess. Pitbulls are killers and pitbull activists don’t understand the pain they cause to others.

    2. Rezuno Icerin, Somewhere Far Away says:

      I agree they are aggressive dogs, but if you are a good owner they can be trained to be friendly(ish). Even if you have a trained pitbull they will still attack another dog. The reason they attack other dogs still if the pit is trained is because the other dogs tend to be untrained, and will try to dominate and disrespect the pit. Pitbull’s have very low tolerance and will most likely attack that other disrespectful dog. It’s a shame really to think about. This is why they need to make some type of dog licence.

  2. Tom Wilkie says:

    Travelling to Gisborne for busines this week I noticed many people who live in Wainui walking their dogs without leashes. This is in plain view of police, who seem to ignore them.
    There were also a lot of people walking with small children . . . so until one child gets bitten then action will be taken . . . I doubt it. Ignorance/arrogance is bliss.

  3. Muriel Shepherd, Tauranga says:

    A pitbull attacking another dog causing serious injury needs to be euthanased.
    The owner of the pitbull needs to be responsible for vet bills. Some owners of dangerous dogs do not take their responsibility seriously enough. A hefty fine should be put in place to remind these people that flouting the rules is not OK. IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE TO PUT YOUR DOG ON A LEAD. YOU ARE A DOG OWNER. PLEASE TAKE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY SERIOUSLY.

  4. Bridgette Irwin, Mt Maunganui says:

    The pitty should have been on a leash and a muzzle if it was known to have dog aggression. I have a pitbull too and in Tauranga it’s law that this breed of dog is not allowed to run free or be in public without a muzzle – just in case something like this happens.

  5. Dave says:

    Seriously, but if the council had issues with this dog before, why was it not a requirement for it to be muzzled while out of its property? I hope the owner is paying for all vet bills. In my humble opinion it’s time that ownership of these dogs was banned.

    1. Alain Jorion says:

      Yes Dave, you say ownership of these dogs, the pitbull, should be banned. It has happened many times before and will happen again and again. The owners of such dogs are often of a type. To protect them from bad company, GDC should quite simply ban them from Tairawhiti. Plenty of nice lap-dogs that only lick people to say hello!

  6. JS, Auckland says:

    Why do you find it necessary to label her dog as a dog, but the other dog as a pitbull in each reference? Typical. It could have been any other dog but I bet you wouldn’t label its breed if it was right . . .

  7. V. King, Wairarapa says:

    All dogs should be on a leash when out walking.
    Doesn’t matter if it’s a handbag dog or a pitbull.
    A lot of these dogs are aggressive because that’s how they have been brought up.

  8. Brent Young says:

    The pitbull should be put down and the owner made to pay compensation. Those dogs kill people too. I would kill the dog myself if it attacked my dog like that and the idiot owner would be made to pay dearly. Time to stop pussy-footing around with mongrels.

  9. Aroha dogs, Grey Lynn says:

    What the hell, it’s an owner’s responsibility to make sure their dog is under control. It’s not a breed thing, so banning a breed is ridiculous and also comes from a person who probably hasn’t even met or had positive contact with the breed – so to that lady saying this, stop being ridiculous. Bad owners need to be banned from owning animals – they clearly have no respect for other owners. Pitbulls aren’t the only breed to be blamed, there are many breeds being exploited by bad owners. These dog owners don’t desex, don’t register and don’t train. Any dog can cause damage. Gisborne has huge issues with animal welfare; so many pups being given away to anyone for free, no checks done; animals are suffering and dogs are paying the price. Ban bad owners from having animals, simple! Strike 1 – fine and house checks, desexing of all dogs 🐶 the cycle of unwanted pups isn’t stopping! Do your homework, this breed is being victimised by uneducated people who are basing their opinions on fear. Fear kills innocent animals that are being judged by another bad owner. The dog knows no different than what it has been taught – the owner will go get another dog – cycle continues.