A community is in shock after a dog mauled a "friendly little
Family members said the dog would be put down after the
attack on Lani Shepherd, 4, in Beatty St, Otahuhu at about
Shepherd's shocked father, Orlando, told the Herald on Sunday
that the dog was "only a puppy" and had never been aggressive
"I don't know what happened." But after the attack he had
told Animal Control to put the dog down.
Lani was in Middlemore Hospital.
His grandmother said Lani had injuries just below one eye and
would need stitches at least. "Lucky he didn't get it in the
eyes. They were playing -- the dog and the boy."
She said Orlando had pulled the dog off Lani.
"The dog's mouth was still on his face."
The grandmother believed the dog was not her son's. "The
owner ... I think he's gone to Australia."
Neighbours said the dog had caused trouble in the past week
and had snapped a chain it was attached to in the Shepherds'
Some said they saw scratches on the boy's face a few days
earlier and were told the dog was to blame.
Hori Heeney was among those concerned for the boy's welfare.
"We asked how the little fella was and they weren't sure what
condition he was in," Heeney said. "He's a friendly little
fella. He's a nice kid."
Heeney said the dog spent most of its time "just chained up
to the tank over there".
Another neighbour said: "It was always barking.
"We've never seen it being taken for a walk or anything."
But one other neighbour said the dog and the boy seemed to
have an affectionate relationship.
Jade Leaf from Gisborne was visiting his family in the street
yesterday and said he was stunned to see police cars and
blood on the inside of the Shepherds' garage door.
"We knew it had something to do with the dog," Leaf said.
- John Weekes of The Herald on Sunday