Key Points:

A 13-year-old girl was attacked by a dog last night in Tauranga.

Tauranga Police said the girl had been introduced to the dog - a five-year-old Staffie Mastiff cross - by its handler.

She had patted the dog, who had been tied to a tree in Hynds Park Road.

The dog had then become aggressive, broke loose and ran after her, taking her to the ground.

The girl was taken to Tauranga Hospital with bites to her ribs, arms, elbow and shoulder - some bite marks were puncture wounds.

She has since been released from hospital, and the dog has been taken to the pound.