HONOLULU (KHON2) — A vicious attack on a dog on Maui turned into a happy ending for the pup and its original owner three years after they were separated.

Tommy Boy is a 7-year-old poi dog that was attacked with a machete in Paia in August 2022.

“A citizen had thrown themselves on top of Tommy Boy to stop the attack from happening and he had lacerations from his tail, part of his tail was taken off, all through his back and on his forehead,” said Katie Shannon, Maui Humane Society marketing director.

The pup was on his way to recover after three separate surgeries; the MHS medical director said she had never treated such severe injuries.

“The machete sliced through all the skin and muscle on his head, right down to the bone,” Dr. Laurie Gaines said, “and he was even hit hard enough that the bone had fractured above the sinus.”

Tommy Boy was separated from his owner in 2019, but the former Maui man reached out to MHS after hearing of the Paia incident.

“And he sent old photos of Tommy Boy as a puppy, and then we let them know. He said that he wasn’t able to travel to Maui, but that we could travel to Oahu to bring Tommy Boy to him,” Shannon said.

Tommy Boy did not recognize his old friend when they first reunited on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

“But once the owner started talking to us about Tommy Boy, and after spending some time, I think Tommy Boy was able to remember that sniff, remember that smell,” Shannon said.

“He was kissing his face, they were both kissing each other by the end of it. And just so happy and really embracing one another.”


Both doctors who worked on Tommy Boy and the responding enforcement officer said credit should not go to them completely, but to the community. “By the time I had arrived, his head was wrapped up, his body was wrapped up and if they hadn’t done anything, if he was just left there, he definitely wouldn’t have made it,” said Kaitlyn Mason, MHS humane enforcement officer. “And I can’t stress enough how amazing it is and how much help from the community really does make an impact.

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