The owner of dogs which allegedly attacked two children on their way to school — leaving one in hospital — is being prosecuted by the Far North District Council.
The attacks occurred on Otiria Rd, Moerewa, about 20 minutes apart on June 6.
One victim, a 15-year-old boy, was treated at a nearby medical centre but an 11-year-old girl was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital with extensive injuries to her legs, buttocks and arms.
The girl's grandmother, Noema Paul, said the attack stopped only when house painters working nearby heard the child's screams and prised the dog's jaws apart to free her.
Both children required tetanus shots and ongoing doctor's visits due to concerns about infection.
Within hours the Far North District Council seized two dogs, one described as large and brown and white, the other as small and cream-coloured. Environmental services manager Darren Edwards said the council had decided to prosecute the owner of two dogs allegedly involved.
''The decision was made after a thorough investigation by animal management officers into the attacks. The fate of the two dogs will be decided by the court and they will remain in council custody until the case is completed,'' Edwards said.
The prosecution will be under Section 57 of the Dog Control Act, with provides for fines of up to $3000 for owners of dogs that attack people, stock or wildlife.
If an attack results in serious injury to a person or the death of wildlife the maximum fine rises to $20,000. Prosecutions for dog attacks are rare because of the difficulty of proving a particular dog is responsible.
In the case of the Moerewa attacks the council is believed to have multiple witnesses it can call on.