A 2-year-old boy was taken to Christchurch Hospital after being attacked by a pitbull on Friday.

A spate of dog attacks, including one over the weekend which left a 7-year-old boy needing more than 100 facial stitches, has reignited debate over dog control.

Christchurch City Council head of regulatory compliance Tracey Weston said the dog involved in the attack in Woolston was believed to have been a 2-year-old American pitbull terrier cross.

It has since been put down by a vet at the owner's request.


Ms Weston said an animal control officer visited the address of the dog owner, spoke to the owner as to what happened and what he wanted to do with the dog. He said he wanted the dog destroyed.

On Saturday, Darnell Minarapa-Brown, of Takanini, South Auckland, was rushed to hospital with nine facial punctures after being attacked by his uncle's dog.

He required surgery and more than 100 facial stitches and it is feared he may never regain the feeling in his top lip.

The boy's uncle, Henare Carroll, told the Herald yesterday he was "shattered" by the incident and blamed himself.

Mr Carroll said he was given the option to surrender the dog, 3-year-old pitbull Caesar, and did so without a second thought.

"After [the attack] I didn't think I would be able to go on with that dog."

The dog is being held at the Manukau animal shelter while Auckland Council investigates the attack. It is expected he will be put down.

After the attack on Darnell made headlines, debate began about how to reduce the number of dog attacks in New Zealand, especially of children.

The New Zealand Plastic Surgeon Association suggested education, licensing enforcement and even a ban on the breeding of dogs deemed dangerous.

"Plastic surgeons are seeing these injuries around twice a week, the latest a major one in south Auckland," said association president Dr Sally Langley in a statement.

"These children suffer pain and severe physical and psychological trauma. It is a very difficult time for their families. Many need multiple operations and suffer permanent and severe scarring."