A 4-year-old boy was bitten on the head and face by a dog at his Torbay home.

Police said the boy suffered a significant cut to his scalp, extending down over his forehead, and a bite injury just below his eye in the attack by the staffordshire terrier yesterday.

He was taken to Starship Hospital where he was recovering today.

Neighbours heard screaming and saw the boy covered in blood. They initially thought he had been assaulted and called police.

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The dog, which was later seized by a ranger, was expected to be destroyed.

No decision has been made yet as to whether the dog's owner will face charges. The dog had been visiting the property with its owner when the attack occurred.