A 4-year-old girl has been attacked by a dog while she was playing on her family's driveway in the Bay of Islands.

The attack took place on Wednesday afternoon on Mawson Ave, a cul-de-sac near the Waipapa Rd-State Highway 10 junction.

The child's mother said the girl had been left with marks on her face and arms and a blood nose.

The injuries were not serious enough to warrant calling an ambulance but she took the girl to see a GP on Thursday morning.


Writing on Facebook, the woman said the 4-year-old and her brother were playing on their shared driveway when she head a scream.

"If you're a parent you know what scream I'm talking about. I ran out to see this mutt over my child and not one person from the other houses surrounding even came out, not even the owner of the dog."

The only description of the dog was that it was brown and looked like a pitbull.

Far North District Council animal control officers impounded a dog from a Mawson Ave property yesterday and took statements from its owner and the girl's family.

A spokesman said the council's investigation was likely to take several days.

The woman's post, on the Kerikeri Noticeboard Facebook page, sparked calls for vigilante justice - and concerns from other dog owners on the street that their pets could be targeted.

The attack on the child comes just 10 days after a 94-year-old man was bitten on the legs and arm trying to protect his pet from an attack by an unrestrained dog on sports fields next to Kerikeri Domain.

He was treated in Bay of Islands Hospital and discharged while his dog needed its ear stitched.

The dog, described as a staffordshire terrier cross, has been seized by animal control officers. A decision on its fate has yet to be made.