Dogs attack in park

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By EMMA WHITTAKER

A woman whose chi­huahua was mauled by two other dogs at West­ern Springs hopes the own­ers re­spon­si­ble will be found.

Five-year-old Ver­sace was be­ing walked on a leash when he was at­tacked by a young rot­tweiler and what looked like a young bull­ter­rier cross that were off-leash, Ver­ace’s owner Tar­ryn Van Niek­erk says.

‘‘They came at him at full force and bit him at least three times. He forced his way out of his col­lar and just ran.’’

Ver­sace made it out onto Great North Rd and was run over by an SUV.

‘‘We tried to catch him but he only had one thing on his mind which was to get out.

‘‘Who the hell has dogs that big and ag­gres­sive off a leash in a park like West­ern Springs where there are kids and wildlife? It could eas­ily have been one of them,’’ Miss Van Niek­erk says.

‘‘There are signs ev­ery­where say­ing dogs must be on a leash.’’

The own­ers of the at­tack­ing dogs seemed in­dif­fer­ent to what had hap­pened and left, she says.

An­i­mal Man­age­ment was called but has not been able to iden­tify the an­i­mals or their own­ers.

‘‘The lady from an­i­mal man­age­ment said I should have taken a photo, but in the heat of the mo­ment who thinks to do that?’’ Miss Van Niek­erk says.

She and her part­ner were leav­ing the park af­ter a pic­nic with Ver­sace on Jan­uary 19 when the attack hap­pened at about 3.30pm. They’d en­coun­tered the other dogs ear­lier in the af­ter­noon.

‘‘We were feed­ing the ducks and they just started bark­ing re­ally ag­gres­sively at us.’’

Auck­land Coun­cil says there have been no other com­plaints about dog at­tacks at the park in the last year.

Photo: EMMA WHITTAKER

Wor­ried plea: Tar­ryn Van Niek­erk is ask­ing dog own­ers to keep their dogs leashed af­ter her chi­huahua was mauled by two large dogs at West­ern Springs park.

The ca­su­alty: Ver­sace was killed when he ran into traf­fic to es­cape two dogs that were at­tack­ing him at West­ern Springs park.

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