A dog that bit two people has been seized by Tauranga City Council amid renewed calls for dangerous dogs to be banned.
A four-year-old bull mastiff/bull terrier cross is being held by animal services and is described as "a threat to the community".
The dog is said to have bitten two people but the victims are known to the dog's owners and are not prepared to complain.
The council is now awaiting the outcome of court proceedings against the owner who is charged with failing to desex or microchip the male dog.
A call for tougher measures to protect the public from dangerous dogs has been made today after two-year-old Aotea Coxen was mauled at a park in Christchurch yesterday by a staffordshire-cross.
Golf course superintendent Peter Macintosh heard the child screaming from the other side of the park and ran to help. "I realised what type of dog it was - I jumped straight on top of it."
"It was too strong for me to prise its jaws open so I didn't, I just went straight for the windpipe of the dog and tried to choke it."
It eventually worked and the dog let go.
Police have praised Mr Macintosh, describing his action as nothing short of heroic. The little girl suffered severe facial injuries and has received 290 stitches and had a plate inserted in her broken jaw.
Police are considering charging the owners of the dog. It was destroyed with their permission.
United Future leader Peter Dunne says there have been eight serious attacks reported by the media in the past year - all of them involving pitbull terriers, bull mastiffs or staffordshire bull terriers.
"It is totally unacceptable that the Government is just standing by and watching as another child has her life turned upside down in such vicious circumstances," he said. "The community is simply not a place for large, aggressive, territorial attack dogs."
Mr Dunne said attacks would continue until dangerous dogs were banned. "Breeds like pitbulls and staffordshire bull terriers have got to go." he said.
"At the very least we need to ensure that the most aggressive breads are neutered immediately, and place an embargo on any new breed coming into the country."
Today the Bay of Plenty Times can also reveal that three quarters of all dog bites go unreported to Tauranga City Council - despite many victims requiring medical or ACC treatment.
Tauranga City Council manager of animal services John Payne said research showed council records here and nationwide, did not match hospital or ACC records. "If your own dog bites you, you still need medical attention but you're not going to report it. It only gets reported to us if a dog's bitten a stranger," he said.
Mr Payne said while tough rules aimed at reducing dog attacks seemed to be working in Tauranga with a drop in the number of dog biting incidents over the past year - there were 42 reported dog attacks in the city during 2006/07 compared with 64 during the 2005/06 period - there were still common mistakes made by dog owners.
This included humanising dogs too much and giving them too much hierarchy in the family.
"They're not that versed in our morals. Dogs don't know the difference between lawful and unlawful intruders, they will bite anyone ... when a dog bites a member of the family it's dominance aggression," he said.
Mr Payne said teaching owners to manage their animals and keep them under control, was key to stopping attacks, and getting owners to understand the problems behind their dog's behaviour.
Mr Payne said if family dogs showed any aggression at all, such as growling, owners should seek professional advice.
Mr Payne said housing an aggressive dog posed serious risk to the community and serious risk of "jail time" for the owner.
In 1997, Te Puke's Koro Dinsdale, died after being mauled by his own dogs on his property.
Of dogs attacking dogs, in February a rottweiler bull-mastiff cross, slipped through a fence and attacked and killed a fox terrier in Otumoetai.
And just last week, a pitbull attacked a springer spaniel at Mount Maunganui, causing it serious injuries.