KEALIA — Kona the dachshund was taking in an evening at Kealia Beach with his owner, Heidi Sasan Duarte, when he was attacked by an unleashed, bigger dog on June 13.
Now, the 9-year old, miniature chocolate, longhaired dachshund is at an animal hospital on Oahu, recovering from surgery to fix puncture wounds and a damaged spine.
“Kona receives therapy daily to keep blood flow to his limbs,” Sasan Duarte said. “We are hoping he will walk again.”
Kauai animal control officials are on the lookout for the owner, Rebecca Au, and her dog Makaleha, according to the Kauai Humane Society. Makaleha is a brown, grey and white, unneutered male.
Au is reportedly part of Kauai’s homeless community and frequents the Wailua and Kapaa areas, and Makaleha is always with her.
Kona was sitting in the sand next to Sasan Duarte when a brown and white dog attacked, picked him up and started shaking him.
“It happened so fast, the dog snuck up on us, with no warning, no growling,” Sasan Duarte said. “I jumped up and screamed. The beach chair (I was sitting in) found the attack dog’s back once, maybe twice.”
She continued: “The owner came running and jumped on her dog. It let go. I’m in shock, Kona is down and not moving, she’s sorry — crying and crying. She says she’s trying to tame and teach her dog.”
Kona may not be the first of Makaleha’s alleged victims. He’s also wanted in connection to an attack at Marine Camp in Wailua, resulting in severe injuries to an Airedale mix, which also required surgery.
“This could have been a toddler or baby,” Sasan Duarte said. “I am thankful that the other dog’s owner was nearby and able to pull her dog off (Kona).”
She said people should be responsible for their dogs, “or don’t have pets that you no can handle.”
While animal control officials are on the lookout for Makaleha and Au, Kauai people have rallied around Kona and Sasan Duarte. Through a Go Fund Me account, nearly $6,000 has been raised to help pay for Kona’s surgery.
“Before that there was really no hope for Kona,” Sasan Duarte said. “We’re still short on surgery cost coverage, it’s crazy expensive.”
Sasan Duarte hopes to raise $8,000 through the Go Fund Me Account, and she’s still accepting donations for Kona’s surgery and recovery expenses.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Au and Makaleha should call KHS at 632-0610, ext. 105, or Kauai Police Department dispatch at 241-1711, or email email@example.com.
“Please do not approach them!” according to the statement from KHS.