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Attack on 2-year-old reinforces need to take care

Attack on two-year-old reinforces need to take care around dogs

A two-year-old boy was released from hospital today, after being bitten by an unregistered dog at a Westmere property yesterday.

The boy received treatment for a ripped eyelid, a bite on his lip and an abrasion on his cheek after the attack by the Staffordshire Bull terrier. Prior to the attack, the boy had been poking the dog in the face with a stick.

Auckland City’s team leader for compliance monitoring, Geoff Atherfold, says the dog was owned by members of the boy’s extended family.

“Attacks like these reinforce the need for extra care to be taken when children are around dogs, as they can happen so quickly,” says Mr Atherfold. “There is a joint responsibility between dog owners and caregivers to be vigilant at all times.”

Auckland City was notified by police soon after 10am yesterday that the child had been bitten and was receiving treatment at Starship Hospital. An animal control officer went to the property, where police were in attendance, and seized the dog under section 57 of the Dog Control Act 1996.

Despite initially refusing to relinquish the dog to animal control officers, the owners of the dog have now agreed and the dog will be destroyed tomorrow morning.

Although the dog was unregistered, council has no record of previous aggression incidents involving the animal.

Animal control officers have interviewed the family today and a decision as to whether or not to prosecute the dog owner will be made once the investigation is complete.


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