The owners of four dogs which attacked a 7-year-old Japanese girl in Murupara have pleaded not guilty.
Charlotte Boyt, 31, and Gareth Clive Boyt, 35, appeared in the Rotorua District Court before a registrar yesterday. They face a joint charge under Section 58 of the Dog Control Act with owning four dogs that caused serious injury.
Lawyer Bill Lawson said pleas of not guilty could be entered, after a decision that diversion was no longer an option.
Mr Lawson said the pleas were on the basis that they were not on the property at the time and that they were not in charge of the dogs at the time of the attack.
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The pair were remanded at large to reappear in the Rotorua District Court on August 20 for a case review hearing.
Sakurako Uehara was mauled by the Staffordshire bull terrier-cross dogs in March. After the attack, the dogs were put down. Sakurako faces years of reconstructive surgery to repair extensive wounds to most of her body. She suffered more than 100 bites.