Rottweilers had attacked a child before
Two dogs who savaged a Christchurch schoolboy had previously attacked a child - ''dragging him around like a doll''.
Walter Wilson confronted the dogs' owners after they terrorised his 4-year-old son Roy at Linfield Park, Bromley on August 3.
Wilson said he phoned animal control and complained about the incident.
He believed the two rottweilers should have been put down then and was horrified to hear yesterday they had mauled Mason Bennett, 8, who lives with the dogs.
Mason's step-sister watched in horror as he was thrown into the air by the dogs and seriously injured during the attack in the park about 8am on Saturday.
The 8-year-old was rushed to Christchurch Hospital with serious wounds to his scalp, face and legs. His distressed family were yesterday at his hospital bedside where he will remain for days.
The dogs have been seized by Christchurch City Council animal control officers and will be destroyed. The family "voluntarily surrendered" the dogs to the council for euthanasia, a council spokeswoman said.
Police are investigating whether the dogs' owners should be charged under the Animal Control Act.
Leon van Wyk said he was among about 10 spectators at a rugby game who saw Wilson's son get attacked a fortnight ago.
''The dogs obviously thought they were bigger than him so they ganged up on him, threw him to the ground and started dragging him around like a doll.
''It just looked terrible.''
Spectators started shouting at the dogs and then chased them away, van Wyk said.
The boy was wearing a thick jacket, which saved him from serious injury.
''If we hadn't turned around and seen what was happening, I think . . . they would have done some serious damage to the kid.''
Wilson said he was playing rugby at the time of the incident and had brought his son along to watch.
After the game he confronted the owners at their Rudds Rd home, flanked by witnesses and still wearing his rugby gear.
They apologised and had no idea their dogs were on the loose. He suggested they put a padlock on the gate to stop them getting out.
He believed the dogs should have been put down and he was shocked to learn they'd attacked again.
"I came home from work [yesterday] and gave my son a huge hug as hearing this made me think again what could have happened," Wilson said.
"It is very sad to hear that this has happened to their own son but what happened with my son should have been a warning as to the temperament of these dogs."
WORST ATTACK PARAMEDIC HAD SEEN
St John intensive care paramedic Kurt Ward said he had attended dozens of animal attacks in his career, which spanned about a decade, but the attack on Mason on Saturday was the worst he had seen.
When he arrived, Mason's mother was cradling him inside the family's home. His father had locked the dogs away.
"The mother was in a state of shock. They'd done everything spot on. There was nothing more they could have done for that child to improve the outcome, " Ward said.
"He was exceptionally sore, but exceptionally brave. He was talking to us, telling us he was sore.
"He definitely had some significant injuries, but he was very lucky the dog never got any critical areas."
Mason's bite wounds were largely above his eyes and on his scalp but he had also suffered a puncture wound to one of his legs. He would require plastic surgery and would likely have scarring.
Matthew Pay is employed by Ralph Spark, who lives with Mason's mother.
He said Mason got out of bed on Saturday and let the dogs out for a walk in Linfield Park "and they must have turned on him".
"The daughter saw what was happening and alerted Ralph [her father and the dogs' owner].
"Ralph ran out, kicked the dogs [off] and probably saved [Mason's] life.
"It's a tough time for Ralph - I really, really feel for him."
A Canterbury District Health Board spokesperson said the family had asked for privacy.
The hospital would not release the boy's condition yesterday.
A member of the family said this morning ''we've got bigger things to worry about'' and declined to comment about the previous incident involving the dogs.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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