Manukau Courier : January 14th 2011
www.manukaucourier.co.nz Friday, January 14, 2011 Dog walk ends in mauling Chomped: Hayley Beatson with her injured Chinese crested dog Maddie who was mauled by a rottweiler-cross on Weymouth Beach. By MELISSA KINEALY AN EVENING beach stroll turned into a nightmare for a young woman who tried to shield her tiny pet from a vicious dog attack. Now Hayley Beatson, 24, is urg- ing owners to take more respons- ibility for their dogs in off-leash areas after the attack on Maddie, her one-year-old Chinese crested dog. She's grateful Maddie's alive after he was set upon by a rottweiler- cross on leash-free Weymouth Beach. Walks at the beach are a real treat for Maddie but this is one he won't be visiting again. He was out for a stroll with Ms Beatson, her mum Melissa Payne and her dog on January 3 at around 8.40pm. He gave a few excited barks and attracted the unwanted attention of a large rottweiler-cross at the other end of the beach where his owner was jogging. From the speed the dog was run- ning we knew we did not have time to get off the beach,'' Ms Beatson says. I saw the rottie's owner shouting at his dog so mum and I lifted our dogs up and huddled together as the rottie approached. We sandwiched ourselves together and put the dogs in the middle to try to protect them. But Maddie's foot slipped out and the rottweiler caught it straight away.'' Ms Beaton's protective instincts kicked in then and she locked her hands around the rottie's jaw to try to loosen its grip on her pet. The dog was staring me in the eyes -- it was quite intimidating,'' she says. Its owner tried to drag the dog off Maddie but he had to beat his pet about the head before he finally let go, Ms Beatson says. My shorts were covered in blood from Maddie's wounds to her back and rear leg.'' A muzzle could have saved Mad- die from her injuries, she says. I expect that people should know their dog well enough to know what precautions to take. Owners need to be more con- siderate of other people's animals rather than just their own.'' Ms Payne says it was clear the owner knew his dog was likely to attack. The thing that makes me the maddest is that the owner probably knew he had that tendency and still had him off the leash.'' She's convinced the bigger dog would have killed Maddie had they not protected him. If he'd got Maddie's neck, I know he would have died.'' She wants the man to keep his dog away from the beach and hopes talking about the ordeal will encourage other dog owners to be responsible when taking their animals to off-leash areas. Maddie is on the mend and will now be heading to the Auckland Botanic Gardens for his treat walks. Off-leash conditions Auckland Council spokeswoman Tanya Henderson says dogs can be exercised off-leash on Weymouth Beach as long as they're under control. That means: The person in charge of the dog is able to get an immediate and desired response from the animal by use of a leash, voice commands, hand signals, whistles or other effective means The dog is not causing nuisance, distress, danger, of injury to any person or animal The dog is not causing property damage. Enforcement is carried out by animal control officers patrolling beach areas and the council also carries out joint inspections with parks officers in the holiday season. The rules are Manukau specific because the bylaw put in place in former Manukau council areas still applies.
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