- Publish Date
- Monday, 11 April 2016, 12:46PM
Darnell Minarapa-Brown was pinned down and attacked by his uncle's dog in Takanini on Saturday, needing more than 100 facial stitches.
The 7-year-old also had a metal plate inserted into his fractured nose and cheek and may never regain movement in his upper lip after being mauled by the pitbull.
Henare Carroll, the dog's owner, said he had not been to see his nephew yet because he was worried if he did he would break down in tears.
"I'm just feeling really shattered, because it's my fault," he told the Herald.
Mr Carroll said he was given the option to surrender the dog, 3-year-old pitbull Caesar, and did so without a second thought.
"After [the attack] I didn't think I would be able to go on with that dog."
Caesar is being held at the Manukau animal shelter while Auckland Council investigates the attack - it is still unknown what sparked the attack.
Meanwhile, the incident has prompted the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons to call for education, licensing enforcement and even ban breeding of dogs deemed dangerous.
These surgeons want an investigation into whether certain breeds of dog should be banned.
Manurewa- Papakura councillor Calum Penrose says children between the ages of three and 12 have been attacked over the past month & a ban would be difficult.
He says there's no easy solution.
"Plastic surgeons are seeing these injuries around twice a week, the latest a major one in south Auckland," said association president Dr Sally Langley in a statement.
"These children suffer pain and severe physical and psychological trauma. It is a very difficult time for their families. Many need multiple operations and suffer permanent and severe scarring."
A study published in August found 99,000 dog bites had been recorded nationally in the decade to 2014 - with more than 5800 requiring hospital treatment.
Incident rates increased from 10.5 attacks per 100,000 people to 14.3 over the 10-year period.