A 71-year-old Motueka man is in hospital and a dog has been destroyed after it jumped a fence and viciously attacked the man as he was walking down his driveway to check his mail last night.
The man was rescued by Jade Brown, 18, who lives around the corner from him and was walking past the Bennett St house about 5pm on her way to a twilight netball game.
"I heard someone yelling and, as I looked down a long driveway, I saw the dog. At first I thought maybe he was just playing with [the man], but then I saw the blood on his arms and legs. I ran down the driveway and called, ‘Oh my God, are you OK?'
"He didn't say anything, but I could see he wasn't OK. I ran to get a hose, but I could only find a bucket of water, so I tipped that over [the dog], but he didn't stop.
"Then I started hitting the dog with this big stick I found in the driveway. I hit him on the head for a few minutes until the dog released [the man], but then the old man grabbed his leash so he couldn't get away, and the dog attacked him again.
"I hit it again and again and again until it stopped, and then I clipped it to the fence so it couldn't run away."
Miss Brown then yelled for a neighbour to call an ambulance, and took a bandage off her wrist and used it to bandage the victim's leg. She said he had bad bites above his ankle. "It was really deep and yuck."
She said she was afraid of the dog, but more afraid for the man.
"I didn't really mind if he bit me, because the man was in pretty bad shape. I didn't think he could have handled any more. I was just doing anything I could to get the dog off him."
Miss Brown said her family had two dogs that were similar to the dog involved in the attack. They owned a staffordshire-whippet cross and a pitbull cross.
The partner of the dog's owner said the attack by the two-year-old great dane-ridgeback cross came "completely out of the blue". The dog broke its chain and jumped the fence to attack the man.
"I was at work and came home to find this poor old guy sitting in my chair outside," said the woman, who did not want to be named.
She said the dog was destroyed last night.
Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter pilot Tim Douglas-Clifford said the man suffered severe lacerations to his arms and legs and was bleeding profusely.
Paramedics spent about 15 minutes bandaging his injuries before he was flown to Nelson Hospital, where he was today reported to be in a stable condition.
Mr Douglas-Clifford said he was called at 5.12pm last night. The man was picked up by the helicopter from Decks Reserve.
Tasman District Council regulatory manager Adrian Humphries said the dog was registered and microchipped and had no previous history of problems. "It just seems to have been one of those things." Staff would gather information about the incident before deciding whether the owner would be prosecuted.
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