Dog attack at lakeside

EMMA WHITTAKER
Last updated 05:00 20/02/2014
Versace the chihuahua
THE CASUALTY: Versace the chihuahua was killed when he ran into traffic to escape two dogs that were attacking him at Western Springs park.
Tarryn Van Niekerk i
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.

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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 bull-terrier cross that were off-leash, Versace'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 on to 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," the Massey resident 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."

An Auckland Council spokesperson says there have been no other complaints made about dog attacks on people, wildlife or other animals at the park in the last year.

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