Toddler bitten on face in dog attack

A toddler bitten on the face in a dog attack near Tauranga this morning will require surgery for his injuries, police say.

The 3-year-old boy was at a Matapihi property in Waikari Road at 8.40am when he suffered injuries to his face from a pit bull dog.

St John ambulance staff took the victim to Tauranga Hospital, where a hospital spokesman said the boy was now "comfortable".

Senior Sergeant Shannon Clifford said the boy was at the house visiting relatives and playing in the yard near the dog when the attack happened.

"The dog has bitten the boy on the face and as a result the boy has been taken to Tauranga Hospital for treatment. The boy will require surgery for his injuries.

"At the time of the incident the pit bull dog was secure on a chain within the yard. The pit bull dog has been seized by animal control who are working in conjunction with police and the family over the incident."

St John team leader Ross Clarke said the child was not considered to be seriously hurt but required treatment for lacerations to his face.

Police northern communications Inspector Andy Brill said police received a call from ambulance staff for assistance at the scene and officers had responded.

Occupants of the Waikari Rd property where the attack happened declined to comment.

Animal control officers were still investigating the incident.

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