Two pit bull terrier dogs will be put down today after they attacked a jack russell in Opunake.
A two-year-old jack russell called Max was the victim of Sunday afternoon's attack when two pit bull terriers jumped a 2 metre fence and launched at him.
New Plymouth's Kara Wasley, Max's owner, was visiting friends at a Dieffenbach St address when the attack occurred.
Four children under 12, including her daughter, were playing in the backyard and witnessed the attack.
"At no point did the dogs approach the children but it was pretty horrific for them to see and they were all screaming and upset," she said.
Her daughter Molleigh Wasley, 12, courageously approached the pit bull terriers while they were attacking Max and kicked them repeatedly in an attempt to get them away.
"They didn't go for her at all and they obviously just weren't used to a dog being on the property next door and must have got a scent and gone for it," Ms Wasley said.
The owner of the dogs who lives in Longfellow Rd is known to the Wasley's and has been apologetic throughout the ordeal.
"Max is fairly comfortable now but he has lost some of his saliva glands and ligaments in one of his legs," she said.
"I'm just so grateful he's alive because the vet wasn't sure he would make it."
It was the owner of the pit bull terriers who stopped the attack. The dogs backed off when they saw her approaching.
The pit bull terriers had no record of attacks but South Taranaki District Council regulatory services manager Jim Single said because of their breed there were no second chances.
"The owner was very apologetic and had already started making arrangements to have the dogs put down," he said.
The owner of the pit bull terriers has paid the cost of the vet bill for Max's injuries.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Pals and playmates (pictures)
Reacting to a sudden cancellation
New Zealand's best deck built yesterday
Appreciating Tony Allen
The meaning of blogging