A family is waiting to find out whether a six-year-old girl will be disfigured by a dog bite she received at a playground in Rangiora.
The dog, a Staffie-American bulldog cross named Vedda, was immediately destroyed after the incident on November 26, at the Good Street Reserve.
The owner, Josh Charles McCracken, a 34-year-old labourer, admitted being the owner of a dog which attacked a person, at the Christchurch District Court.
The Waimakariri District Council prosecuted McCracken under the Dog Control Act. Judge David Saunders was told the Act required the destruction of the dog, but that had already been carried out at McCracken’s instructions.
The council said McCracken was at the park with his children and the dog, which was being encouraged to run around the playground equipment.
The six-year-old was at the playground with her grandmother. Vedda jumped up and bit the girl on the chest area while she was on the flying fox, causing injuries 1cm and 1.5cm long near her right nipple. Her clothing was also ripped.
She was taken to hospital where the wounds were stitched. The doctors say the injuries may eventually cause distortion of the nipple area, and distortion of the growth of the breast.
McCracken had taken the dog to the park to play with the children and was not aware that it should not have been there. The council said he had been very concerned for the victim.
Defence counsel Rupert Ward said it had been very upsetting for the girl and her family. McCracken had been horrified about what had happened, which had been “traumatising for everybody concerned”. McCracken had owned the dog for six years and it had never shown any sign of aggression, he said.
Judge Saunders decided not to fine McCracken, but ordered that he pay $500 in emotional harm reparations to the girl’s family.