Hunting dogs attack teenage rider

13 year-old suffers over 100 lacerations

After the recent terrifying account of a bear attack on a teenaged girl in Alaska, a perhaps even more disturbing incident involving a young person riding their bike took place in New Zealand earlier this week.

An unnamed 13 year-old boy suffered horrific injuries when he was savaged by four purpose-bred hunting dogs in the town of Waitoa on the country’s North Island. The animals, a greyhound-pitbull cross breed used to hunt wild pigs, struck as the boy rode past their owner’s property. They escaped from the garden and according to the teenager's  mother, who has asked to remain unnamed, the dogs pulled her son off his bike and ripped the clothes off him.

The local police chief said that while the dogs’ owner had attempted to intervene he had been unable to control all four animals at once.  

Luckily, three women in a passing car managed to get the boy away from the dogs and pull him to the safety of the vehicle. The women phoned the emergency services and took him to his mother’s home nearby where an ambulance arrived ten minutes later.

“They were wonderful. They covered him in a towel and a blanket. I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t saved him,” the mother said.

When the boy reached WaikatoHospital he was found to have more than 100 lacerations on the arms, legs and buttocks. He underwent six hours of surgery with the major damage being to his left bicep muscle, which will require extensive physiotherapy. His condition, four days after the attack, is described as "fair".

The hospital’s Dr Fiona Neary who operated on the boy said: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen such extensive injuries. Obviously he was extremely frightened. It was a very long day for him…he is recovering well. He’s a very brave young man." 

Following a number of dog attacks in the country in recent years New Zealand’s laws covering such incidents were tightened and in line with the new legislation the dogs at the centre of this incident have been destroyed. Police are investigating the matter but have yet to announce whether the animals' owner will be charged. 

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