Elderly man attacked by three dogs
A 78-year-old Christchurch man was ''torn to shreds'' by three dogs after trying to help a young boy who had been locked out of his house.
Somerfield resident Melva Small watched helplessly as the dogs savaged her husband, Frank, outside their Holcombe Pl home on Monday morning.
''I went outside and the little boy from across the road was on the footpath and said he'd locked himself out of his house,'' she said.
''His mum was in the shower and couldn't hear him and he was very upset.
''Frank is very good with children and so he picked up the lovely boy and opened the gate to take him up to the door. Then these vicious dogs just rushed out at him.''
The three bull mastiffs attacked her husband, ''tearing him to shreds''.
''They just went for him. They ripped his face. His cheek was completely open,'' she said.
''I ran over to protect the boy and they started to come at me. Frank was yelling, 'Go, go, get away'.
"So I left Frank fighting these dogs and I ran to call the ambulance, but it took so long coming.
''He managed to stand up, but they were clinging on to his legs, biting his arms. He was bleeding everywhere.''
Her husband was taken to Christchurch Hosptial with severe wounds to his face, arms and legs.
He had had several skin grafts, but his wounds would not stop bleeding, Small said.
''He's pretty low. He's an old man and it's hard for him,'' she said.
''He doesn't deserve this. He was just innocently trying to help the boy.
''We never thought something like this would happen.''
Small was worried the boy had been traumatised by the attack.
''It was an awful thing to witness. I've been struck down by this, but imagine how that will stay in a little boy's mind,'' she said.
"He's very young; only in kindergarten. It's awful.
''He came around the next day and asked me if the 'bleeding man' was all right. I told him Frank was in hospital but would come see him when he was better.''
The dogs did not belong to the boy's mother, but were staying at the property.
''The woman who owned them said she had no fear of them at all,'' Small said.
''She even let them in bed with her, and the little boy played with them.
''They were so vicious even the police officers said they'd never seen dogs like it.''
City council animal-control team leader Mark Vincent said the council was holding the dogs for the police, who were ''taking an action''.
''He believed the dogs were American pit bull terriers, not bull mastiffs.
Vincent said Maude Small was mistaken, and only two dogs were involved in the attack.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
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