Stuff that matters

A woman has been left traumatised after her partner was fatally “ripped apart” by a pack of savage dogs while she was on the phone to him, according to his heartbroken family.

Neville Thomson, 69, was looking after six of his friend’s hounds in his property on New Zealand’s North Island when the pack mauled him to death.

Cops say there were around 25 dogs on Neville’s grounds when the creatures pounced on him.

Stella Matthews, Neville’s stepdaughter, said her mum was forced to listen as the ferocious mutts tore him to shreds.

Speaking to Stuff, Stella said her dad had put the phone down but that her mum could hear ” scuffling and shouting and growling “.

“Apparently she stayed on the phone for a good 25, 30 minutes,” Stella added.

Neville’s daughter Nataria Moore said the horrific circumstances of her dad’s death have left her family in pieces.

“We’re surviving, just,” she said.

“It’s a shock. When I found out, I felt like the air had been taken from the room.”

She said her dad – who had a “big heart” – was dogsitting to protect a pal from the vicious mutts.

He had two of his own dogs with him at the time, who were locked up inside and “weren’t involved at all”.

Locals echoed the daughter’s assessment of her dad’s character, calling him “kind and generous”, and a dog lover.

Father Maliu ‘Otutaha, the reverend of the local church, said the retired builder was very active in the community and supportive of his neighbours.

He said that Neville, who lived alone, found comfort and companionship in his own pooches.

At the time of his death, it’s thought there were as many as 25 dogs on his property – but some were young unregistered puppies.

Tangiroa Karena, the chairperson of nearby Waipuna Marae, said the incident had impacted “all of us”.

Though she didn’t know him well, she said Neville dilligently cared for his animals.

When police entered the building, they assessed the dogs as a safety risk.

While trying to contain them, they shot and killed one of the pups – with two others put down after the incident.

Cops haven’t provided any further information as to which breeds the violent dogs were.