Pit bull attacks child on beach

'I’m concerned the same dog might do it again' says mother.

'I’m concerned the same dog might do it again' says mother.

A five-year-old girl bitten by a dog on Midway Beach was lucky she was wearing a wetsuit.

The girl was on holiday in Gisborne with her mother and brother when the incident happened in front of Midway Surf Life Saving Club on Thursday morning.

Her mum said the dog, a gold-coloured pit bull, jumped on her daughter from behind, bit her on the lower back and would not let go despite desperate efforts from her and the owner of the dog.

Eventually the mother called in surfers who helped separate the dog from her daughter.

While she was attending to her daughter, the owner and dog “left really fast”.

“The owner had no control and the dog was not on a leash.

“Don’t have a dog if you can’t control it. I’m concerned because the same dog might do it again.”

Speaking from Auckland, where the family live, the mother said her daughter was healing well. The bite was still an open wound, and they were just waiting for the skin to close and letting the antibiotics work.

But mentally there was a long road ahead.

“Her brother is scared of dogs now, even when they’re behind fences. Yesterday he just freaked out and started crying when he saw one.

“I know I have to teach them to get used to dogs again, and explain about good dogs, bad dogs, and good owners and bad owners.”

The mother said the surfers who helped them tried to find the dog owner and get the registration plate number.

“But she left really fast. She was a young Maori girl, about 16 or 17, and had a slightly Asian look to her. She was sporty looking and of average height.

“It was just lucky my daughter was wearing a wetsuit.

“What if the dog had grabbed her arm and dragged her off?

Gisborne District Council (GDC) bylaws stress owners must be in control of their dogs at all times in public places.

“During the school holidays dogs must be on a leash at all city beaches and dogs are also strictly prohibited between any ‘swim between the flags’ areas,” said a GDC spokesperson.

Information on rules for exercising dogs in public places is available on their website.

“We encourage people to report breaches or attacks to the council 24 hours a day on 0800 653 800.”

A five-year-old girl bitten by a dog on Midway Beach was lucky she was wearing a wetsuit.

The girl was on holiday in Gisborne with her mother and brother when the incident happened in front of Midway Surf Life Saving Club on Thursday morning.

Her mum said the dog, a gold-coloured pit bull, jumped on her daughter from behind, bit her on the lower back and would not let go despite desperate efforts from her and the owner of the dog.

Eventually the mother called in surfers who helped separate the dog from her daughter.

While she was attending to her daughter, the owner and dog “left really fast”.

“The owner had no control and the dog was not on a leash.

“Don’t have a dog if you can’t control it. I’m concerned because the same dog might do it again.”

Speaking from Auckland, where the family live, the mother said her daughter was healing well. The bite was still an open wound, and they were just waiting for the skin to close and letting the antibiotics work.

But mentally there was a long road ahead.

“Her brother is scared of dogs now, even when they’re behind fences. Yesterday he just freaked out and started crying when he saw one.

“I know I have to teach them to get used to dogs again, and explain about good dogs, bad dogs, and good owners and bad owners.”

The mother said the surfers who helped them tried to find the dog owner and get the registration plate number.

“But she left really fast. She was a young Maori girl, about 16 or 17, and had a slightly Asian look to her. She was sporty looking and of average height.

“It was just lucky my daughter was wearing a wetsuit.

“What if the dog had grabbed her arm and dragged her off?

Gisborne District Council (GDC) bylaws stress owners must be in control of their dogs at all times in public places.

“During the school holidays dogs must be on a leash at all city beaches and dogs are also strictly prohibited between any ‘swim between the flags’ areas,” said a GDC spokesperson.

Information on rules for exercising dogs in public places is available on their website.

“We encourage people to report breaches or attacks to the council 24 hours a day on 0800 653 800.”

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Hannah - 1 year ago
Better to just have kids steer clear of dogs until the pit bull infestation clears up.

Dana, USA - 1 year ago
Pit bull owners always flee the scene.

Gabrielle Keen, Rangitikei - 1 year ago
New Zealand has a serious pit bull problem and an even more serious deluded, arrogant and irresponsible pit bull-owner problem. It doesn't help that our SPCA and NZ Veterinary Association advocates for these unpredictable and blood-thirsty anti-dogs. Pit bulls and pit bull mix breeds are inherently dangerous. They were bred to fight to the death. They are a scourge on our society and a very real danger to our children and pets. Pit bulls should never be pets. We need breed-specific legislation now!

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