HASTINGS, NEW ZEALAND: a young woman, Rose Midgley, lives with a Ragdoll cat whose name is Nim. She lets him cat go outside and on October 6 at 7 p.m. he jumped out the window while she was watching television. Shortly afterwards she heard fighting between animals and clearly realised that her cat was under attack.
She went outside rapidly and saw two dogs, one of them a staffy-like dog, savaging Nim. They were pulling at him between themselves as if he was a piece of rope. She was horrified and her instincts took over. She dived in to protect Nim, covering him with her body. The dogs attacked her, biting her face and thigh. She called for help as she protected Nim. Neighbours came to help and she quickly took him to a veterinarian.
He was badly injured with puncture wounds on his lower body, a broken paw and he has lost his front claws while defending himself. In addition to the injuries mentioned she has scratches and bruises. She has no idea who the dogs belong to. The person obviously hasn’t come forward and she has given a statement to animal control. Nothing has happened in respect of holding the dogs’ owner to account.
Comment: there is no doubt in my mind that the owner of the dogs is allegedly in violation of New Zealand’s Dog Control Act 1996 which obliges dog owners to keep their dog under control at all times even when at home. If a dog is out of control in a public place they can be seized and taken to a pound.
It appears that the person who owns the dogs has committed a crime under this act (I’m presuming that it is a criminal statute). Midgley could claim compensation under civil law and the dogs’ owner has also allegedly committed the crime of criminal damage under the general criminal law of New Zealand.
There is a presumption in the story that both dogs are owned by the same person. This might not be the case, of course. Or they may not be owned at all and be stray dogs. From my perspective, that would seem to be unlikely.
Nim was lucky to survive. I’m convinced that if Midgley had delayed by a minute he would have died in that savage attack. It can all happened so quickly. She was very brave to dive in and protect cat under these dangerous circumstances. She was almost bound to be hurt.