A three-year-old Tauranga boy is in hospital after being bitten on the face by a pitbull.
Police, ambulance services and dog control officers were called to suburban Matapihi about 8.40am.
The boy was playing in the yard when he was attacked by the chained-up dog, Tauranga police shift commander Senior Sergeant Shannon Clifford said. The boy was staying with relatives who owned the dog.
He was taken to Tauranga Hospital by ambulance with lacerations to both cheeks. A hospital spokesman told Fairfax Media the boy was in a comfortable and stable condition.
The dog was now in the pound with an investigation underway to ascertain what happened, Tauranga City Council animal services team leader Brent Lincoln said.
The dog wasn’t microchipped but now has been, he said. It is not on death row, yet.
The only grounds for destroying a dog were if the owner surrendered the dog, if the owner didn’t pay release fees, or if ordered by a court following a prosecution, he said.