Gino Wensel, 40, was exercising his faithful companion, a German shepherd called Duke, when suddenly he became aware of a man coming towards him with a knife in his hand. Duke did not hesitate, but bared his fangs, growling, challenging the thug, who turned on him plunging a steak knife with all his force into Duke’s skull.
Despite the blade lodged deeply in his head, the fearless dog continued to protect his friend, lunging at the attacker causing the miscreant to flee before collapsing in a pool of his own blood.
Distraught owner Gino thought he was dead, but when he saw Duke was still breathing he called a friend who drove them to the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa (AWSSA), a charity that cares for all animals.
AWSSA spokesman Allan Perrins said: “Duke had suffered a very high impact blow that I have no doubt was intended to kill him and was in a critical condition and was close to death. He was slipping in and out of consciousness and he was immediately sedated and given pain relief while we carried out an X-ray as we feared the blade was in Duke’s brain. The X-ray showed however that the blade had gone in three inches but had bent on entry away from the brain missing it by millimetres and turned towards his right eye socket. A fraction harder and Duke would have died but our vet Dr Zheneta Stoynova operated immediately and extricated the blade safely and then stitched up the deep wound.
Incredibly Duke has recovered overnight and his owner came back for him today and the fuss they made over each other gives all of us the reward we need for what we do here.” Gino is unemployed but that did not deter him from bringing Duke’s lunch box, it even had his name on it.
Mr Wensel said: “I have no doubt this man was trying to kill my dog. There are very bad men and gangsters round here. Whether he was trying to rob me or attack me I will never know. What I do know is Duke was never going to allow anyone to cause me any harm. I thought he was dead. It was only the knife moving in his head that showed me he was just alive.
This man probably wanted to rob me but my dog nearly lost his life protecting me.” he said.
Quinte Humane Society is a non-profit animal shelter serving Hastings & Prince Edward Counties. Each year they provide a safe, caring environment for as many as 2200 stray, surrendered, neglected or abused animals. They return hundreds of lost animals to their families, adopt out animals that are in need of a new home and provide medical care and other necessities for animals in distress. They spay/neuter to help with pet overpopulation and educate the public about animal welfare.