The Invercargill City Council is dealing with an attack by dogs on two women in South Invercargill about noon today. The women received significant injuries and were taken to hospital.
Council Environmental Health and Compliance Manager John Youngson said the attack happened on Henderson Street when two large mastiff-cross dogs rushed from a house to attack the two women who were out on a walk.
“The door and gate of the house were left open and a neighbour who witnessed the attack rushed over to beat off the attacking dogs with a stick,” Mr Youngson said. “Council staff are shocked at the severity of this incident and we will be offering the victims every support we are able to give them.”
Police, the Ambulance Service and Council received calls about the attack, Mr Youngson said. “The owners of the dogs were contacted and they agreed to hand over the two dogs to our Animal Control Officers. Both dogs are now in the Council’s Animal Care Facility. Only one of the dogs was registered.”
“Owing to the severity of the attack, Council will be exploring the legal options and we are taking the matter very seriously.”
Mr Youngson said that Council was taking a very hard line in situations where dogs were not kept under control. “People are entitled to walk the streets safely without being rushed at, or attacked by a dog. We are tightening up our bylaw relating to dogs, which will give more clarity and provide harsher penalties for failure to keep dogs under control. We want to reduce the incidence of dog attacks – it’s a reminder that we still have serious dog control issues in Invercargill,” he said. “In this case, if the neighbour wasn’t available the situation could have been much more serious.”