Dog owner dis­traught af­ter roam­ing rot­tweiler kills her pet

Waikato Times - - News - TE AHUA MAIT­LAND

A roam­ing rot­tweiler at­tacked and killed a small dog in an area where dogs must be walked on their leash.

But the owner of the dog killed says she doesn’t blame the rot­tweiler or its owner, but she does want dog own­ers to be more aware of other dogs when out in pub­lic so it doesn’t hap­pen again.

Marama Bowler was walk­ing her mal­tese/shitzu dog, Trixie, along with the fam­ily dog, Skip, along the Waikato River in Hamil­ton when a rot­tweiler came ‘‘sniff­ing around’’.

Bowler quickly be­came tan­gled in the leads and pulled in two di­rec­tions as the rot­tweiler be­gan at­tack­ing her dogs.

Bowler, who is deaf, turned to check on Skip when she felt a sharp yank on Trixie’s lead.

She turned around and saw blood ev­ery­where.

‘‘It was then, in that mo­ment, that I was glad that I was deaf, so I didn’t have to hear her cry­ing and in pain.’’

Trixie had been bit­ten by the rot­tweiler and was be­ing thrown around like a rag doll.

‘‘I tried yank­ing her back but it was like the dog thought she was play­ing tug-o-war with me. So I had let go and run for the sake of my other dog.’’

Bowler, 20, was walk­ing the dogs on Fri­day morn­ing near the river path by Cob­ham Drive.

Ac­cord­ing to Hamil­ton City Coun­cil, the river paths are an area where dogs need to be walked on-lead.

Af­ter the in­ci­dent she ran to the foot­path and screamed for help.

By then, the owner of the rot­tweiler had raced down and saw what was hap­pen­ing.

Bowler said she was in just as much shock and ripped her dog off Trixie, putting her straight on to a lead.

Bowler wants dog own­ers who let their dogs off lead to be more aware of other dogs.

‘‘You want to let your dog run free in big open spa­ces, es­pe­cially if they don’t get to in their own back yards,’’ she said.

‘‘I un­der­stand why she was off her lead – but dogs can snap at any given mo­ment.

‘‘It can hap­pen to any­one and no mat­ter what breed.’’

Bowler had adopted Trixie – her ‘‘fur baby’’ – from her part­ner’s gran­dad af­ter he died.

This year to date there have been 120 in­ci­dents of dogs at­tack­ing other an­i­mals in Hamil­ton. Other an­i­mals in­clude dogs, rab­bits, cats and chick­ens. Last year there were 155 in­ci­dents. Coun­cil an­i­mal ed­u­ca­tion and con­trol man­ager Su­san Stan­ford said it was im­por­tant that dogs stay on leads at all times, un­less they were at a des­ig­nated dog ex­er­cise area.

If in doubt, they should keep their dog on a lead, she said.

‘‘Not only does it make sure your dog stays safe, but also other dogs and peo­ple, es­pe­cially young chil­dren, who may not be con­fi­dent or com­fort­able around dogs.

‘‘An off-lead dog can cause se­ri­ous harm even if they’ve never at­tacked any­thing be­fore.’’

PHOTO: DOMINICO ZA­P­ATA/STUFF

Marama Bowler was walk­ing her dog Trixie on a leash be­side the Waikato River when she was killed by an un­re­strained rot­tweiler. Bowler is pic­tured here with the fam­ily dog, Skip.

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