A Northland man was shot by his dog in the backside after the canine leapt on to a loaded rifle in a rare, but potentially deadly, accident.
Police believe the dog might have accidentally stepped on the trigger of the .22 rifle involved in the shooting of a 40-year-old Te Kopuru man, reports the New Zealand Herald.
The man was shot in the buttocks when the dog jumped on to the loaded gun on the vehicle''s back seat, at a Te Kopuru near Dargaville. The injured man was among a group of four who used the gun to kill a domestic pig and were going back.
The man is reported to be in a stable condition. The bolt-action rifle was loaded with a magazine containing five shells - only one had been used the kill the pig and the party told police they thought the gun was unloaded.
Ian Anderson of Dargaville police said the man was very lucky not to have been more seriously injured. He said the rifle would be tested to see if there were any faults, which might have otherwise caused the firearm to discharge.