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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.