Coach tells of horror dog attack

03:00, Jan 25 2013

Sports coach Reuben McNabb sprinted at least one kilometre across two soccer fields, past a scout building and down the back of houses toward the sickening screams and roars ‘‘like a dog fight’’ in South New Brighton Park on Monday.

The father of five who was coaching at the South New Brighton Tennis Club said he was alerted by the horrific noise.

‘‘I thought someone was getting killed. I couldn’t see. All I could hear was the noise from about a kilometre away. To be honest I thought it was a little kid. I thought we’d get there too late.’’

The victim Kyla Strahl, 27, shocked and traumatised, is recovering from a second operation on her left arm.

She was bitten to the bone of her forearm and also took severe bites to the wrist, hand and leg as she tried to prise two staffordshire bull terrier-type dogs off her labrador Rudy.

Ms Strahl was expected home from hospital today.


Her eight months pregnant sister who grabbed a hose to flush the attack dogs off was also knocked down.

Mr McNabb said tennis dad Lewis Kitchen  ‘‘who happened to be at the club’’  grabbed a bike as Mr McNabb sprinted to the scene.

‘‘The young woman’s mother and a younger guy got the two girls back inside their property and Lewis got round back of the dogs on the bike and got them to head back toward me.’’

Mr McNabb lured the dogs back inside the property next door to the Strahls.

''The gate next door was shut but it wasn’t secure,’’ Mr McNabb said. ‘‘The dogs could have just pushed against it and got it open. It wasn’t bolted.

‘‘I just wanted the dogs locked up as soon as possible and didn’t want to be inside their property by myself with the owner away.''

As the other man corralled the dogs with his bike, Mr McNabb standing aside just inside the gate, called the dogs.

 ‘‘They charged in and I bolted out.’’

Kyla suffered multiple bite wounds.

‘‘It was panic stations obviously for them.''

The noise was so bad that people as far as Pine Ave heard.

‘‘The dog were hyper. With that breed, once they go for someone it’s hard to get them to stop. They’re a fighting breed.

‘‘I've got my own opinion as to whether those bloody dogs should be allowed into the country anyway, it’s just the way their brains are wired.

‘‘The other dog (Kyla’s) was hurt. The pair were really going for it.

‘‘I certainly wasn’t interested in getting bitten. The dogs were hyped up, we couldn’t just leave it. Children were playing in park just around the corner.’’

Mr McNabb, who coaches tennis and football (soccer), was Tennis Canterbury’s junior administrator of the year for the Tennis 2011-12 season.

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