Dogs have attacked before
Three dogs who mauled Ian Johnston’s jack russell to death should never have been unrestrained, according to the broken hearted owner.
The Matamata marathon runner said his family is ‘‘ heartbroken’’ after what happened on the evening of November 3 when he took his two jack russells for a run along the South Waikato River Trails.
He was running north along Huihuitaha walkway with his ‘‘little mates’’ when a one big dog ran past him followed quickly by two others.
He said before he knew it they were attacking his ‘‘little girl’’. He managed to yell them off but somehow they started mauling his 9-year-old Austin.
He clearly recalls the attacking dogs as a doberman pinscher, a black labrador cross and a male brown labrador.
Johnston said the attacks were all over in about 10 seconds but he remembers hearing a mighty bite.
‘‘In between that my male dog was fatally injured.
‘‘The male biker caught up to me and he saw my little guy had been injured and he stopped and said: ‘ Oh, I’m so sorry, hope he’s OK.’ And he did ask if he could do anything’’.
But in his shocked state Johnston told the biker to leave.
‘‘I sort of knew our guy was fatal. . . I guess you hope against hope. I thought I could carry him back to the car and he’d be OK but when I put my head to his heart I heard all this fluid gushing around and I knew it was blood. . . I probably walked on for 150 metres then there were these convulsions and I guess that was blood in his lungs and I knew he was gone then.’’
The four kilogram dog belonged to Johnston’s 19-year-old son.
Johnston said locals helped identify the owners who are now being dealt with by animal control and the South Waikato River Trails.
‘‘A fisherman was attacked the same night, he was bailed up by the same dogs.’’
The owner of the dogs had ‘‘the audacity’’ to tell the fisherman he shouldn’t be fishing there that night, Johnston said.
And that is not the first time, according to Johnston who said it appears the dogs confronted a woman about two weeks prior to that and a cyclist about six months ago, he said.
He said he loves the South Waikato and does not want people to be afraid to walk its beautiful tracks.
‘‘But on the flipside I’m concerned, next time there could be a family there. You just don’t know.’’
BROKEN HEARTED: Ian Johnston is devastated after his 9-year-old Jack Russell was mauled to death.