Pregnant woman lunged at bulldog to save girl, 9

Ambulance officers treated the girl before taking her to Rotorua Hospital with moderate injuries. Photo / Rotorua Daily Post
Ambulance officers treated the girl before taking her to Rotorua Hospital with moderate injuries. Photo / Rotorua Daily Post

The pregnant owner of an American bulldog which attacked a young girl in Rotorua reportedly lunged at the dog to save the 9-year-old.

Stevie-Rebecca Shipgood, 9, suffered deep cuts to her head and arm after a neighbour's American bulldog attacked her in Rotorua on Sunday.

The dog's owner, who did not want to be named, said his partner was walking the 2-year-old dog, Riley, on a lead about 2.30pm on Te Ngae Rd near Puketawhero Park in Rotorua.

Stevie-Rebecca was bouncing a ball and walking with five other children, including the dog owner's child, when the dog jumped up and bit her head and arm.

The woman walking the dog - heavily pregnant at the time- tried to pull Riley off the girl, then blocked the dog from getting to her.

The woman told Fairfax Media she was shocked her dog had attacked the girl.

"I was only thinking about helping Stevie," she said. "I tried to get him off her ... I threw myself on him to cover her."

A girl who was with Stevie-Rebecca recounted yesterday how she hit the dog to try to get it off her friend.

"I was scared she was going to die."

Her cousin said the dog jumped on Stevie-Rebecca and wouldn't let go. "It was pretty scary."

Rotorua District Council Animal Control supervisor Kevin Coutts said it was likely the dog owner would be charged, depending on what the victim's family wanted.

The dog will likely be put down.

- NZ Herald Online staff

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