Owner charged over dog attack on toddler

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A dog attack on a three-year-old boy in Bay of Plenty has led to a charge being laid by police.

A 41-year-old unemployed man from Matapihi will appear in Tauranga District Court on April 17, charged with owning a dog which causes serious injury.

The pit bull was secured on a chain when it attacked the Hastings boy on Thursday morning at a Matapihi property.

The three-year-old was bitten on the face, and was released from Tauranga Hospital the following day.

His family declined to comment.

American Pit Bull Terrier Association spokeswoman Karen Batchelor told The Bay of Plenty Times that negative comments about pit bulls are knee-jerk reactions from ill-informed ``so-called experts''.

Ms Batchelor said international research by the American Temperament Test Society showed pit bulls ranked highly in temperament tests with 84-85 per cent pass rates.

Pit bulls had suffered years of unwarranted bad press, as there were many reported cases of attacks by other breeds that had not received the same level of attention, Ms Batchelor said.

"Pit bulls are no different than any other dog. Every dog needs to be socialised, trained and restrained,'' she said.

The dog involved in the attack is being held at the Tauranga City Council Pound pending the outcome of the case.

Among more than 50 comments on Bay of Plenty Times Facebook page, one woman wrote "no dog is born bad but different breeds have different inbuilt issues''.

- APNZ

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