Auckland Council is searching for the dog behind a brutal attack that left a 7-year-old boy needing stitches to his face and mouth.

Hunter Baldwin was rushed to Starship children's hospital before being transferred to the plastic surgery department at Middlemore Hospital on Sunday after the attack.

He received stitches to his face and needed further work done to mend his lip.

The six stitches he received on his cheek had affected his self-confidence, his mother told the Herald.

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Auckland Council's manager of animal management Nikki Marchant-Ludlow said the council was working with the boy's parents and trying to find the dog and its owner.

"As this is ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time," she said.


Baldwin went fishing with his family at Stillwater near Whangaparaoa on Sunday afternoon when he was attacked.

After arriving at the beach, Baldwin and his two siblings asked their mother if they could pat a dog.

Mother, Angela Rowley, told her children to avoid the dog, but she said the dog's owner insisted it was friendly and encouraged the children to pat it.

"The owner of the dog said, 'She is fine, she loves kids, she has grown up with children all her life', so they went and patted her," Rowley said.

Looking away for one moment, she heard the dog growl and then a child scream.

"I turned around after hearing a growl to see my son holding his face screaming."

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She said she did not know the breed of the dog but described it as brindle.

The owner of the dog quickly left the scene after the attack without giving any contact details, Rowley said.

She and her son gave statements to animal control officers who came the beach to investigate.

"They will keep an eye out and will do some door knocking up a street the owner said he lived on to a local," Rowley said.

Rowley said her son hadn't wanted anyone to see him with the facial stitches. Doctors had predicted it could take up to six months to come right.