The dog which seriously attacked a four-year-old has been impounded.
Tauranga City Council animal services team leader Brent Lincoln said the child was attacked by a large tan coloured bullmastiff when visiting a Merivale home with his family about lunchtime on Friday.
The TrustPower TECT Rescue Helicopter was called to take the boy from Tauranga Hospital to Waikato Hospital about 6.30pm on Friday. Pilot Todd Dunham said they boy had received facial injuries that required specialist treatment.
Mr Lincoln said the attack was reported to the council on Saturday and the dog was impounded.
The investigation was still in progress and no decision had yet been made on the fate of the dog, he said.
If council officers decided to prosecute the owners, the dog would remain in the pound until a court order was reached. Officers could also opt to classify the dog as dangerous which would mean it was released back to the owners but would have to be muzzled, fenced in and de-sexed.
A Waikato Hospital spokesperson said the boy was discharged on Sunday morning.