Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dog put down after boy attacked

By Belinda Feek, Waikato Times

An 11-year-old boy is recovering at home after being attacked by a dog in a Hamilton park on Wednesday.
The dog – a pitbull-labrador cross – was yesterday put down by Hamilton dog control officers, but the boy's mother also wants its owner prosecuted.
James Want and friend Raymond Luttrell, 12, were playing touch rugby at Poutney Park in Fairfield about 6pm when a woman told the boys she was going to let her dog off his chain.
"She said `this dog bites but he won't bite you'," Raymond said. "James went to get the ball and the dog came running and bit James on the leg and started attacking him. I ran over and started kicking it. I kicked it hard in the shins and it turned around and growled at me and then went back to attacking James."
James said he tried to kick the dog away but it kept biting him.
"He grabbed my T-shirt and I pulled it out of his mouth and then he dragged me across the field."
The dog then went to bite his face, but James managed to raise his arm and block it, suffering a gash to his arm in the process.
Raymond kept yelling at the owner, a woman aged in her early 20s, to get the dog off James.
A man then intervened and started choking the dog before the woman whistled at it and it finally stopped.
She then ran from the park with the dog in tow.
James' mum Nicole called the woman "a coward" for running and said she wouldn't be angry if she had just waited around or called for help for her son.
A Waikato police spokesman said officers had to use pepper spray on the dog to calm it down when they went to a Marshall St house to retrieve it.
The matter was being investigated by dog control and had not been referred to police, he said.
Hamilton City Council animal control manager Fiona Sutton said staff were still trying to identify the person in charge of the dog at the time of the attack.
The dog was not registered.
In the first 11 months of this year there have been 74 reported dog attacks on people in Hamilton and 105 reported dog attacks on animals.

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