Death for pitbull after boy attack

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2013

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A pitbull will be destroyed after it attacked an 11-year-old boy who was out delivering pamphlets. 

Waiponga Nepia made a last-ditch effort to save the life of his dog Missy at Waitakere District Court yesterday.

The five-year-old pitbull escaped its owner's West Auckland home on July 10 last year, according to the poice summary of facts, then attacked a boy delivering circulars on Karepo Cres, Ranui about 1pm, biting his stomach.

An adult who saw the attack fended off the dog.

The boy required antibiotics after suffering puncture wounds and abrasions.

Auckland Council filed an application to destroy the dog through the court.

Pitbulls are deemed dangerous under the Dog Control Act and must be kept in a fenced area and muzzled when in public. Dogs which cause injury or damage must be destroyed, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Nepia admitted charges of having his dog loose and not muzzled, however, his defence lawyer told the court the incident didn't warrant a death sentence for Missy. 

Children visiting Nepia's home accidentally left the gate open, releasing the dog, the lawyer claimed.

Nepia installed large, steel gates to secure the animal in the backyard following the attack and he showed the court pictures of them on his iPad.

The dog also had no other history of attacking people, the court heard.

Judge Phillip Cooper said pitbulls were known for their "dangerous tendencies".

Children forgetting to close his yard gate could not be considered exceptional circumstances and therefore the dog had to be destroyed, he said.

Nepia was fined $1050 and ordered to pay court costs.

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