Dog mauls boy. Who is responsible?

Kelly Dennet and Neil Reid report on this particular dog attack

A family pet that left little Shepherd Mea fighting for his life used to roam the street terrorising neighbours and had been aggressive towards the child before yesterday’s attack.

The incident happened at a Housing New Zealand property, and Housing Minister Nick Smith told the Sunday Star-Times last night officials would launch an inquiry as dogs were not routinely allowed at HNZ homes.

A neighbour also revealed it was the second time the dog had attacked the boy.

“The boy was really friendly, a lovely little guy. He’d talk to me when I hung out the washing,” a neighbour said.

“The other day he had a few scratches on his face and he was telling my cousins they were from the dog.”

The vicious attack also came just days after the boy’s father Orlando Shepherd posted a picture of the dog, which he called a pitbull, on his Facebook page with the status line: “Mess wif me il eat u alive…”

Orlando clearly got the dog to compensate for his own shortcomings.  

Police, who said the boy was aged 4, and emergency services were called to the Housing NZ home in Beatty St, in the suburb of Otahuhu, shortly after 4pm. The boy was rushed to Middlemore Hospital with life-threatening injuries and last night was listed in a serious but stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit.

A large brown dog, identified as a pitbull, was taken from the residential address by animal control. Police confirmed last night it would be destroyed.

Neighbours, who described Shepherd as a lively child, said the family had only brought the dog home two weeks ago and it had been aggressive and causing trouble.

The dog was known to roam the streets, growling and barking and it was significantly bigger than the child, said one neighbour, who did not want to be named.

“She said even though Shepherd had scratches he seemed to like the dog and was often playing with it.

“The kid had been wandering around the backyard with it. The dog was pretty big compared to the child. I would get scared because every time I came home he was barking and growling.”

Very simple.  Dog gets destroyed, and the father is charged with endangering his family by bringing an unhinged dog into the house.   This level of irresponsibility is not much different to leaving a loaded gun lying on the kitchen table.

Throw the book at the ratbag.


– Sunday Star Times


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  • Falcor

    You see a lot of people wandering around being walked by these dogs on a chain.
    I often wonder whether they get that type of dog to increase the IQ of the space they take up

    • steve and monique

      Waste of oxygen, the lot of them.

      • Michael_l_c

        Not the kids but their chances are disappearing every day they are with the father.

        • steve and monique

          True, removal of the children are the only hope they have.

    • Night Stick

      Small appendage syndrome?

    • Slinkywhale

      Me thinks it is a penis extension, or makes up for all the power they feel that has been taken away from them, or who knows where their minds are at.

  • Bigfish

    1+1=2. Why after countless examples, does Mr Shepeard (and those like him) still not understand this very basic equation.

  • steve and monique

    Just a scumbag, who thinks owning a dangerous dog is cool.. Well that bit you on the ass big time. Plus would not let the kid back into their care, as they have proved they are useless.

    • Michael_l_c

      I was going to ask, who do you think the ‘father’ votes for, but that’s a bit unfair.

      • steve and monique

        Votes, I think reading ,and writing are enough trouble

  • Dave

    Better still, destroy the irresponsible owner. The dog was a) not trained, b). Not housed properly, c) not exercised and not maintained. The owner posted the “eat you alive” comment on FB and the dog then tried to eat his own son alive. So he knew, if the poor young chap dies, charge him with manslaughter.

    • Nige.

      There really ought to be some sort of “negligence/failing to provide” type charge in there that facilitates a custodial sentence.

  • Sagacious Blonde

    Tempting to chalk this up to Silly-First-Name Syndrome striking again, but I guess it is the fathers surname.

  • notrotsky


    Well it’s a state house and the poor chap and his dog obvisouly aren’t paid enough so obviously John Key and National are to blame.

    • Blokeinauckland

      And if not John Key then Israel /sarc

    • OneTrack

      Don’t forget the rich pricks. More taxation will solve the problem.

  • Michael_l_c

    A very simple question an even simpler answer. The owner, destroy the owner.

  • Kip_Dynamite

    Clearly Mr Shepherd is a pillar of the community and there was no way to foresee this tragic accident. Oh wait, a mongrel with a pitbull and a small child, what could possibly go wrong?

    • AnonWgtn

      Not sure who is the Mongrel ?

      • Maarty1961

        It’s the feral, the one with two legs…

  • Richard

    Failure to provide the necessities of life.
    A vital necessity of life for a child is to be free from the risk of being mauled close to death by an out of control dog in their own home environment.
    Come on Police, the charge is available, use it.

    • Nige.

      If this is ever to stop there really needs to be some custodial sentence

      • Richard

        I honestly don’t think custodial sentences will stop this from occurring, look at any other crimes that continue regardless of jail term sentences.
        However, those responsible must be punished harshly none the less, then at least they themselves might be less at risk from causing harm again.

    • rickh [Friend of Israel]

      You cannot be serious. It’s not their fault. It’s mine.

    • intelligentes candida diva

      yes it sure has many elements that fits criteria of crimes act, room to charge here I say

  • Huia

    This is easy, put the dog and the father down. The father didn’t take care of his child even after the dog showed aggression to the little boy, he was more concerned about being “the man” by posting brainless comments about the dog on social media. What a waste of space and oxygen.

  • Slinkywhale

    Not the fault of the dog, the owner most definitely. However in our society perhaps it is the child, maybe Labour could have sorted this out – can’t own dogs full stop, in case one hurts a child just for being a child. Personal responsibility is what we are lacking in this Country and it is getting worse.

  • Tom

    South Auckland. Pit bull / mutt special. State house. Dropkick parent/s.

    Same script, different week

  • Don W

    No doubt the lefties will blame this on “inequality” “poverty”.

    • thor42 [Friend of Israel]

      No, no…. they’ll blame it on da Joooooos……

    • Bartman

      Sure will – a living wage would equal far more mutts could be afforded – the status wars would continue unabated

  • BJ

    There are rules for keeping a dog – shelter, food, exercise If a dog is miserable and disgruntled they should be confiscated.

    • intelligentes candida diva

      …and when those essentials are not happening = distressed dog = potential biting

  • I blogged about this last night. Pitbulls are NOT pets, and anyone who thinks they can be tamed is deluded. I witnessed a pitbull attack an elderly man across the road from my former home a few years ago, and it still makes me shiver; it was horrific.

    My prayers are with the young fella mauled yesterday, but this was an avoidable tragedy.

    • Travis Poulson

      I stopped off to grab some beers on Friday on the way home, to see a person of lower socioeconomic description standing outside another shop with two Pitbulls on chains.

      The person appeared to have the stance of making a statement, and nobody was walking past. had those pair of dogs decided to attack someone, that feral would have had no control over them. And one could hazard a guess that two dogs like that would make a fast job of ending a persons life.

      Something needs to be done.

      • Agree 100% Travis. Pitbulls are not domestic dogs, and they can never be domesticated. They are ticking timebombs, and sadly one exploded yesterday ruining an innocent young child’s life.

        • digging doris

          I have a pitbull cross german shepherd….I’ve had her since she was a pup and she is well trained and less likely to bite than my collie…you can’t tag a whole breed of dog which the drop kicks in society choose to have as being unable to be domesticated.

          • KGB

            Sorry but that’s what they all say until it happens.

          • Bubbleguppy

            Visited the local supermarket one Sunday afternoon with grandchild present to stock up on bread etc for school lunches in the coming week. (Radical idea, but works for our family).
            Outside was a member of the underclass, sitting on the footpath with a pup of Crufts pedigree (if it’s a breed shown at Crufts it had some of that) but looked mainly land shark.
            Child asked the owner if she could pat the dog (as she’s trained to do) and he replied that the dog is really gentle and she was welcome to pat it.
            I grabbed her arm and pulled her away from the dog quickly as it growled and bared it teeth.
            The owner was still protesting his dog’s genteel habits and justified its behaviour by saying it didn’t like the trolley I was pushing.
            I gather that any damage done to my grandchild would have been the fault of the trolley, not the dog or the savage in charge of it.

          • Rocket

            Live in a HNZ house by any chance?

        • Monito

          ‘How wrong you are pitbull must be trained and treated with respect and love – then they are magnificent pets as long as they have the right owners..

          • Bartman

            nah, that’s horse crap – bit like saying Great Whites are magnificent pets, so calm and graceful, except when hungry, in which case look out

          • Monito

            Owners almost always determine the behaviour of the dog .. own them, then you must train and control them is what I was saying.

          • Bubbleguppy

            And who gets to decide who “the right owner” is? Orlando Shepherd?

      • Damon Mudgway

        Why is it that every POS in the country seems to have a pit bull? It’s like a gansta grill for imbeciles.

      • OneTrack

        Ban the bloody things.

  • Santa Fe fan

    As dogs are not allowed in state houses- kick him out. No doubt he is also a benficiary.

    • rickh [Friend of Israel]

      Are you sure ? A drive through Glen Innes would have you believe that dog(s) are compulsory on a State house property along with the two people-movers and the occasional boat.

      • OneTrack

        And the Sky dish.

      • Bartman

        and the jet skis – toy du jour for the wannabe poverty barron

  • Wendysupportspeaceandlove

    The father’s name is Orlando Shepherd and the sons name is Shepherd Mea?

    • OneTrack

      SFNS? Again!

  • Rick H

    Pit Bull Terrier, wh?
    And this breed is “Banned” in this country.

    • Monito

      Pitbull owner is wholly at fault and should be jailed. Clearly he bought the dog into the home to be a weapon with absolutely no regard for the childs safety..

    • OneTrack

      But apparently you can’t ban breeds because they cant be sure what breed they are. Somehow we always manage to hear what the breed is after the attacks.

      But, I guess “dad” wanted to be a “gangsta” and needed the dog to look the part.

  • Kopua Cowboy

    Oh no, this is several levels more irresponsible than leaving a loaded gun on the table.

  • Rocket

    Just what planet does Nick Smith live on? “dogs not routinely allowed in HNZ homes”
    I’m willing to bet that virtually the only place you will come across these pit-bull types of canines is in State housing areas.

    • KGB

      There should be a clear policy. When providing State Housing to families unable to pay private market rents, tenants clearly cannot afford pets.

      Unless of course one of the definitions of “living in poverty” includes the ability to afford a family dog.

      • OneTrack

        A pitbull isn’t a small dog either. But these families who say they are living in”povery”(tm) wouldn’t be bullshitting would they?

        • KGB

          To be fair the dogs are normally skinny and their leads double as tow chains.

          • Bartman

            Treat em mean to keep em … well, applies to the kids and wives and aunties as well in those places

  • Charlie

    The responsibility also falls on the neighbors who did not report the dogs aggressive behavior and the fact that it was continuously running loose!

    • Bubbleguppy

      Nah, old lefty thinking trap. If everyone is responsible no-one is responsible.
      The neighbours didn’t decide to get the dangerous mutt, boast of its aggression and let it try to devour the kid.
      Mum and Dad are responsible for this particular attempted manslaughter.

      • Charlie

        So you would stand by and see kids mauled rather than disrupt your selfish lifestyle. Lefty I am not, prepared to do the right thing, yes!

        • Bubbleguppy

          No Charlie, I am not a natural bystander when there is obvious danger but it’s one thing to act as a neighbour and concerned citizen and another to be held responsible (actually accountable) for the decisions of others.

          We have this collective responsibility thingy too much in NZ.
          Again I say if everyone is responsible then no one is responsible.

          The parents – the father, I gather – made an appalling decision to have this savage animal near their/his child. The parents must be held to account for the damage that decision has caused.

          The neighbours are not responsible. Their intervention in this matter is certainly desirable, but does not shift responsibility.
          Surely you are not suggesting they be charged for not reporting the dog to authorities?

  • intelligentes candida diva

    The responsibility is soley that of the father.

    I trust he will be charged with neglect of duty to care resulting in harm under the crimes act part 8 chapter 5 section 195
    Why get an adult dog of that breeding with young children?
    Of course testing hierarchy would occur its what dogs do.
    If the neighbours are correct and the dog was roaming, it is my opinion this man spent little to no time with the animal getting it accustomed to new environment thus being negligible and putting his children at risk

    I agree dog to compensate for shortcomings ….. & an aside “wif” = pathetic is it too hard to write “with” so spelling is one shortcoming

    I hope that little boy makes a full recovery

  • Bubbleguppy

    The dog was not a pup, yet has only been with the family for a couple of weeks. Where has the dog been for the rest of its poor miserable life?