A 96-year-old man has been left heartbroken after his dog was put down following an attack by a pack of out-of-control pig dogs in Kaikohe on Sunday.
Jim Morgan was returning from his twice daily walk with his dog Sandy when the incident occurred.
According to Mr Morgan's close friend Cynthia Moran, a neighbour heard "a horrible noise, like dogs hunting".
Ms Moran says that the neighbour is disabled, but upon hearing the commotion "got on her mobility scooter, and headed straight out, which was either very brave or very stupid".
"She saw Jim on the ground, surrounded by six pig dogs," she said.
"Sandy's left hind leg was dropping and there was this huge gash on him. So she called us right away and let us know."
According to Ms Moran, the man who appeared to own the dogs was riding a blue quad bike, and rather than get off to help Mr Morgan, he instead revved the engine of the bike to call off the dogs and then "just took off".
"He was exercising his pig dogs in the street! They could have grabbed anyone - a kid, a baby. They're bred to kill. As soon as they saw, Sandy that was it."
Initially it was thought that once Sandy's leg had been amputated, he might make it through - but on Monday morning, Sandy had to be put down.
Sandy was Jim's closest companion since the passing of his wife. Despite being nearly blind and profoundly deaf, he took Sandy out for multiple walks every day.
Ms Moran says that she passed the news on to Mr Morgan
"I just put my arms around him and I hugged him, and I told him he had to let Sandy go," she said.
"He was saying that he didn't want to, and I just said that sometimes we have to do the kindest thing, even when it's hard."