On December 27, a man holidaying in Clyde was attacked by a dog while he was cycling on the Clyde-Alexandra river track. This was a serious attack and the man received 15 stitches and spent two nights in hospital. The dog is thought to be a young Rottweiler Cross-type breed. The couple walking the dog were very apologetic and assisted where they could. The incident was not reported at the time, and the names of the dog's owners, who may be holiday makers, are not known. It is reported that the man walking the dog may have had a Scottish accent and a ginger beard.
The Central Otago District Council put out an appeal to find the dog and its owners but has so far been unsuccessful. Louise van der Voort, Executive Manager Planning and Environment for Central Otago District Council says, “We haven’t been able to identify the owner of the dog so we’ve been unable to take any action. If we were to know, we would then investigate and determine the required course of action under the Dog Control Act and our own bylaws.”
The options available to council depend on the dog’s history and the owner’s understanding of their responsibility. The likelihood is that the dog could be classed as dangerous and therefore liable to be muzzled, neutered and fenced.
Council bylaw states that any complaints of dog attacks causing serious injury will be referred to the Police as a criminal matter, however, Police have stated that they have not received any complaint in regards to this attack yet.
The Central Otago District Council is requesting that the dog’s owner, or anyone who can provide further detail, please contact the Council as soon as possible (03 440 0056) to ensure the right measures are put in place to prevent another incident.