Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Council warns dog owners

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Cameron Bidois thanked Ihaia Herewini with flowers for saving him from a ferocious dog attack. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
Cameron Bidois thanked Ihaia Herewini with flowers for saving him from a ferocious dog attack. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

The Rotorua Lakes Council is warning dog owners to remember their responsibilities in the wake of an incident last week where a young boy was bitten by two dogs.

Cameron Bidois, 8, suffered six bite marks to his legs and side after the dogs attacked him in an alleyway as he walked from Selwyn School to meet his sisters at Western Heights High School.

The brave actions of passerby Ihaia Herewini saw the attack end when he pulled the dogs off Cameron and kept other children who were about the enter the alleyway away from the dogs.

The Rotorua Daily Post helped Cameron and his mum, Kryselle Swinton, track down Mr Herewini, who left the scene of the attack before they had a chance to say thank you.

The Rotorua Lakes Council has put out some helpful tips for dog owners to help prevent similar attacks.

Council animal control supervisor Kevin Coutts said the dogs involved in this attack were being held in the Rotorua pound and an investigation was under way to determine what happened.

"The last thing we want or need is children being attacked by dogs," Mr Coutts said.

"Incidents like this are a reminder for people about their responsibilities as dog owners and the consequences and harm that can be caused if they fail in that responsibility.

"Dogs that are under the control of responsible owners don't come to our notice. Dogs belonging to irresponsible owners do."

There are more than 11,000 known dogs in Rotorua and 1883 are currently unregistered.

"Dog owners have a responsibility to make sure their dogs are registered every year before the end of July or they face a fine of $300 or the seizure of their dog," Mr Coutts said.

Animal control staff are in the process of following up with the owners of dogs known to still be unregistered.


* Keep your dog well secured when unsupervised. Keep the dog on a lead when in a public place.

* Get a dog that suits your home. Have you got plenty of room for it to move around?

* Make sure your dog has adequate daily exercise. A fully fenced property is preferred.

* Make sure you consider the cost of a dog before you get one. Dogs can cost at least $500 a year in food and supplies. Annual registration and vet fees are on top of that.

*Give the dog the attention it needs so it doesn't get bored. Do you have the time?

Source: Rotorua Lakes Council

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