Dog attack could cost farmer his finger

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 15:52 13/11/2012

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A Seadown farmer could lose part of his finger after he was attacked by a neighbour's dog yesterday, one of 26 attacks in the last year.

Leo Gaffaney was bitten by a bull mastiff when he opened the gate for his neighbour who had just arrived home.

The neighbour's dogs then raced out to the driveway and one bit him three times on the leg and then bit his ring finger on his left hand.

''It was just left dangling by a piece of skin. The neighbours are good people but the dogs just went into protection mode.''

He was taken to Timaru Hospital and stayed overnight.

''They have attempted to stitch it back on but they said there is a reasonable chance it won't knit. I am a cropping and sheep farmer, so it's not going to be easy, farmers are pretty hands-on."

"At least I am not a concert pianist, I would be missing a few notes.''

Timaru District Council environmental services manager Rick Catchpowle said he had been notified of the incident and the case had been allocated to an officer who would conduct an investigation.

"In the previous registration year we received 26 reports of dog attacks on persons," he said.

He advised dog owners to remember the general obligations placed on them by the Dog Control Act 1996.

''Owners should take all reasonable steps to ensure their dog does not become a nuisance, or injure, endanger, intimidate or otherwise cause distress to any person.''

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- The Timaru Herald

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