Elderly victim of Havelock North dog attack says her pet’s life is in balance

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Havelock North resident Gillian Haldane, 80, was walking her miniature poodle, Mick Jagger, on Wednesday when he was attacked by another dog and they were both injured. Photo / Paul Taylor

The life of Gillian Haldane’s dog, 80, is still in the balance after a ‘nightmare’ dog attack left them both injured on a walk.

The Havelock North resident had been taking her 10-year-old miniature poodle, Mick Jagger, on their daily walk on Wednesday morning when they were caught off guard by another dog lunging at Mick Jagger from a nearby property on Joll Rd.

“Halfway down the road I looked down and saw this big animal and it had its teeth clenched around my dog’s neck,” Haldane said.

“I thought I was seeing things like a nightmare, I thought I was hallucinating, it was just awful.”

Haldane attempted to pull the dog from her pet’s neck and fell, leaving her with injuries to her left arm and leg that required stitches and a hard blow to her tailbone.

Mick Jagger was left in an even worse condition after being attacked and she said the vet told her if his condition did not improve quickly it would be humane to put him to sleep.

“He’s on medication and antibiotics. He can’t stand or squirm, although no bones are broken.”

She said she will have to make a final decision by the end of the weekend.

Haldane attempted to rip the dog from Mick Jagger's neck and fell, leaving her with wounds to her left arm and leg that required stitches, and a hard blow to her tailbone.  Photo / Paul Taylor
Haldane attempted to rip the dog from Mick Jagger’s neck and fell, leaving her with wounds to her left arm and leg that required stitches, and a hard blow to her tailbone. Photo / Paul Taylor

She said many neighbors and passers-by were very kind and helpful immediately after the incident when she was in shock.

“The neighbors were fantastic, someone took Mick Jagger to the vet, someone treated me, someone called an ambulance to take me to the hospital.”

Haldane also paid tribute to the hard work of the AnimalCare team at Havelock North who cared for her pooch.

“It gave me such a warm feeling, that people really care.”

She felt more education was needed for owners of potentially dangerous dogs and she said incidents like hers happen too often.

“I think it’s so unnecessary, it could have been avoided if people had more control over their animals,” she said.

“When walking your dog, don’t walk too close to someone else’s dog, keep your distance, and keep your leash on.”

She said she wouldn’t like to stray so far from home on her walks now.

“This [the incident] was a big scare to my family and my friends are horrified.”

Hastings Animal Control seized and impounded the offending dog, a registered, asexual female pit bull terrier, and an investigation was underway Wednesday afternoon.

Haldane said the pit bull terrier owner had already paid $400 for his vet bills.

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