A 3-year-old-boy was savaged by a stranger's dog as he patted it outside a video store.
Oracle Brampton had a hole in his cheek big enough to put a finger through after the incident in West Auckland.
The owner has apologised and pleaded with authorities not to kill his "best friend". Shame the owner ran away when the incident happened!!
It was one of two attacks by apparently docile dogs a few days apart, prompting campaigners to call for compulsory registration of owners.
In the second incident, Cameron Pita, 9, from Palmerston North, needed 88 stitches after being attacked by a friend's family pet. The owners surrendered the animal so it could be put down.
Oracle was taken to hospital by ambulance after being bitten by a Staffordshire terrier cross outside Video Ezy on Lincoln Rd, Henderson, on March 16.
He was sedated for three hours while doctors washed his injuries with saline and gave him nine stitches. A doctor told the family the bite narrowly missed an artery.
Security camera footage shows a girl patting the dog seconds earlier without problem. But what was the dog doing? Did he lick his lips? Did the dog turn away? What was the dog 'telling' humans? There are always signs that the dog is under stress... it's just unfortunate that the owner wasn't watching and understanding what his dog was telling him!
When Oracle and his sister bent down to pat it, the animal attacked. The owner ran out of the shop, grabbed his dog and fled.
Of course, children should never approach a dog, and children should always ask the owner if they can pat their dog. Of course, parents should be also schooled in this. It's a shame that this could have all been prevented with a course like Doggone Safe !!