A frantic neighbour who used a sharpening steel to distract two dogs brutally attacking a man in Winton at the weekend felt like it was a "life or death" situation.
The 22-year-old victim, Oliver Beaumont, was already covered in blood when neighbour Annie Burazor got to him. Mr Beaumont was attacked by two Rottweilers on Sunday, June 10 and was taken to Southland Hospital where he underwent surgery for his injuries but is now back home.
Ms Burazor was alerted to the issue when her stepdaughter said she could see Mr Beaumont on the ground being attacked by the dogs.
"I just needed to clarify where he was... once I got that clarification she ran over to notify his parents while I ran out."
Ms Burazor said she got a "massive shock" when she came across Mr Beaumont as "his whole face and body was covered in blood, laying on the ground being 100% attacked by the dogs".
In what could've been less than a minute, an off-duty police officer drove down honking his horn to distract the dogs — it was at that point Ms Burazor said she got the extra courage to grab Mr Beaumont and take him away from the situation.
"It felt like it was a life or death situation," she said.
Both dogs remain impounded.
Southland District Council group manager environmental services Bruce Halligan said an animal control team was investigating the matter at the moment, interviewing a number of parties, getting a full outline of the incident and gathering statements.
"What's important is we have as many facts as we can gather."
Some initial discussions were held with the dog owners and a decision on the final course of action will be made once the investigation is concluded.
The Southland District Council records as a dog bite any graze, bruise or worse outcome, and their statistics do not differentiate between attacks on humans and animals.
As per schedule 4 of the Dog Control Act 1996 the Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Perro de Presa Canario and American Pit Bull Terriers are regarded as menacing dogs.
In council statistics from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 there was 48 'menacing dogs' listed as active, while the period from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 listed 59. Complaints received of dog attacks in that time period went from 65 to 42.
A report completed by the council's Dog Control team in 2017 found that dog bites occurred near to where the dog lived, and noted that risk factors included the size and breed of the dog correlating to the severity of an injury.
A Givealittle page was set up by Mr Beaumont's aunt Amanda Colmore-Williams where she said the attack would severely impact on his life both emotionally and physically.
"Any money raised will be used to help heal the pain and trauma he has gone through and help him get back on his feet," she said.