October 3, 2023

Auckland woman mauled by notorious pit bulls during run in Glen Innes reserve as attacks rise

A neighbour heard her screaming and turned up with his tewhatewha - a Māori club shaped like an axe - to chase them off.

An Auckland woman is recovering after two uncollared pit bulls attacked her as she ran in a reserve near her Glen Innes home.

Auckland Council says the number of dog attacks has jumped to more than 250 in three months, and that’s partly down to the rise in lockdown dogs that weren’t properly socialised. 

On Friday, Madeleine Fountain returned to Wimbledon Reserve for the first time since she was attacked on her run last night.

“I got about five steps in and I saw the dogs and they saw me and they started barking and running towards me,” she told Newshub.

“I didn’t want to aggravate them by running away so I just stood still, and they came running up to me barking and then one of them just grabbed onto my leg.”

The dog let go but bit again as Fountain tried to walk away.

“He held on and wouldn’t let go. And that was when I was kind of like if I don’t get some help then things are going to get a lot worse so I started screaming and he let go when I started screaming then he tried to lunge at me again.”

Fountain, who’s a colleague at Newshub, continued to scream. That’s when neighbour Adrian Tihema turned up with his tewhatewha – a Māori club shaped like an axe.

“I yelled out ‘I’m coming’ – shot around the corner and saw her sitting on the ground holding her leg,” Tihema told Newshub.

“And they run off [I] stopped to see what was going on [so] I chased them off and stayed with her for a little while.”

“I really don’t know how bad it could have gotten at that point. I definitely knew that I was in trouble, they weren’t going to go away,” Fountain said.

Dogs have also attacked Fountain’s own cat who lost a leg and local chatrooms say dogs have attacked children.

Neighbours on Wimbledon Crescent Newshub spoke to talked about the two dangerous dogs who roam this street in the evening and said they have attacked before.

Newshub spoke to a courier driver who said that this is the most dangerous street that he delivers to and his bosses have told him if he has any fears for his personal safety he doesn’t need to get out of the van.

The council confirmed its animal management team is investigating the attack and their thoughts are with the victim and their family.

They said all dog attacks are taken extremely seriously and if possible and where appropriate, the offending dogs are seized.

“Really nervous. [I] don’t like having my back to the reserve. Yeah I definitely won’t be running here again anytime soon,” Fountain said.

The council said there’ve been 254 reported incidents of dogs attacking people in the past three months.

That number has risen since lockdown when dog ownership rose and many lockdown puppies were not socialised adequately – causing increased undesirable and unacceptable behaviour.

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