Mastiff Jumps Fence, Attacks Elderly Woman in Scooter

| by Denise A Justin

A 77-year old woman suffered deep cuts to her arm, bruises and was seriously traumatized when a Neapolitan Mastiff jumped over a six-foot fence and pulled her off her mobility scooter on July 3 in Gisborne. A mobility scooter is a power-operated wheelchair configured like a motor scooter.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Stout Street and Atkinson Street at around 1:00 p.m., according to The Gisborne Herald. Police responded and the woman was taken to Gisborne Hospital by ambulance. The mobility scooter was left "buckled" by the attack.

Her daughter, Cherrie Kaa, said her mother is still traumatized. "She decided to go to the dairy around the corner at lunchtime yesterday, and when she passed the fence, the dog just jumped right over it and attacked her. When she was pulled off the scooter she said she just screamed out for help, and luckily help came straight away,” she said.

The dog was identified and was later caught and impounded.

We are investigating the incident,” said Gisborne District Council regulatory services manager Sarwan Kumar. “Once we have spoken to police and the victim, we will be better placed to make a decision on how best to proceed,” he told reporters. Anyone even being threatened by a dog is being urged to call Grisborne Police immediately.

This is the second serious report of a Mastiff attack in Grisborne. In 2010, an 18-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after he was “savagely attacked” by a Neapolitan Mastiff in Te Karaka. The dog reportedly ripped the muscles away from the bone on the underside of the boy's left arm, as well as inflicting puncture wounds covering his entire arm and right thigh.

Gisborne is a popular surfing and tourist site, with a resident population of almost 45,000. It is located in New Zealand's most eastern region, making it the first place in the world to see the sun each day.