Court key to dog's future

A dog that attacked a 4-year-old boy will remain at the pound while authorities decide whether to destroy it.

The youngster was mauled at his Torbay home at night on November 3. Neighbours heard screams before rushing next door to find the child covered in blood, police say.

The boy was taken to Starship children's hospital where he was treated for a severe scalp laceration and a bite wound below his eye.

North Shore area commander Inspector Les Paterson says there was initial confusion over what happened.

Mr Paterson says neighbours at first believed the boy was the victim of an assault and the police were called.

Officers established the boy was attacked by a staffordshire terrier that belonged to a visitor at the house.

An Auckland Council spokesman says the dog will remain in city care while staff collect evidence and decide whether to prosecute its owner.

The council will need to get a conviction through the courts before a judge can order the dog's destruction.

A decision is expected to take several months.

North Shore Times