A Pit Bull-Mastiff mix dog viciously launched multiple attacks on two horses being ridden in Queen Elizabeth Park, in the Kapiti Coast District of New Zealand on Saturday, causing the riders to be thrown and one severely injured, according to the Dominion Post.
Karina Fellows was riding with her 15-year-old daughter at the popular national park on June 14, when the giant dog bolted toward them while he was being walked by his owners in an off-leash area, NZ City reports.
Felows said she tried to get the dog away from the horses by using her whip, but couldn't.
It first took a chunk of flesh out of the chest of one horse and then bit the other on the leg, causing the horses to rear and throw the two riders to the ground, Kapiti Coast District Council's Anna Kenna told NZ Newswire.
Ms. Fellows described the unneutered mastiff to NZ City as "a pure muscle killing machine in my book.”
"One of the horses went berserk and threw my youngest daughter," she told Radio New Zealand on Monday.
Emergency responders included Queen Elizabeth park rangers, animal control, police and an ambulance.
A park ranger tried to block the nearest gate to prevent the horses and the violent dog from leaving the park, but the dog then reportedly tried to attack the ranger, who hit it in the head with a piece of wood to stop it.
Environmental Services manager, Nick Fowler, said,” "This must have been a terrible ordeal for the riders and their horses. And [it is] another example of why we need to be vigilant about uncontrolled or aggressive dogs.
"People and their animals should be able to enjoy the district's parks and tracks without fear of something like this happening,” Fowler told reporters.
Queen Elizabeth Park Ranger Brendan Bulliff told the Post he became aware of the attack when two horses galloped past him on Whareroa Beach without riders. They were being chased by the dog, he said.
He described Ms. Fellows as “frantic.” He took her in his vehicle to try to catch the runaway horses and prevent them from going onto State Highway 1.
Officer Bulliff said they caught up with the horses about a mile up the road in the park. While they were trying to calm them, the dog arrived and attacked them again.
"This big dog came tearing around the corner and he was just full throttle towards the horses again," said Ms Fellows.
During the second attack, Ms. Fellows became tangled in the reins and was dragged along the road. Both horses were rearing and had multiple bites, the ranger said.
"I have never seen a dog attacking so aggressively," Bulliff added, “It was lucky the riders were wearing helmets when they were thrown.”
The 15-year-old girl suffered extensive bruising. Ms. Fellows had multiple wounds and serious bruises and abrasions. She was later treated at Wellington Hospital's Emergency Unit.
The Pit Bull-Mastiff’s owner managed to get the dog back on a leash. He also appeared to be very shocked by the attack, said the Dominion Post.
He is co-operating with authorities and it's understood he wants the dog destroyed, according to NZ City.
The dog is reportedly being held by the council until the investigation is completed.