A TWO-year-old boy had his face ripped apart by a Staffie so badly his teeth were left exposed.
Maxin Bennett, from Christchurch, New Zealand, will need ongoing surgery after he was attacked by a dog called Zeus in a family member’s driveway on March 14.
The toddler was holding a sausage and riding a bike while being watched by his grandparents when the dog attacked.
Mum Alana Trainor said they had been left traumatised after the incident.
Maxin and Ms Trainor, 29, had travelled from Christchurch to Hastings to attend the 50th birthday of her uncle and dog’s owner, Peter Trainor.
Ms Trainor told the New Zealand Herald: “My mum came screaming up to me that the dog had attacked my son.
“By the time I got out there my dad had him in his arms.
“The left side of his face had been ripped right back and you could see all of his teeth.”
Maxin was initially rushed to Hawke’s Bay Hospital before being airlifted to Christchurch Hospital for surgery.
The left side of his face had been ripped right back and you could see all of his teeth
Ms Trainor said she was told at the hospital that Maxin’s wounds were the most severe dog bites they had seen.
Ms Trainor added she now worried her son would be a target for bullies due to his scar, which Maxin now called his “ouchie”.
Maxin will now have to undergo a number of additional surgeries as he grows up.
Ms Trainor said: “He used to love dogs but now since he has noticed his scar he has been shying away from strange dogs often grabbing my leg and when my dogs get near him he now slaps their nose and says ‘ouchie’ which is what he calls his scar.”
The attack has caused a rift within the family with the family traumatised and the dog still alive and Zeus’ owner said to be refusing to accept responsibility.
Ms Trainor has now started a petition this month to have the dog removed so it cannot attack another child and she has lodged a complaint with Hastings District Council.
She said: “I just want some justice for my wee boy. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.
“If it does it could be worse. Maxin was lucky to escape with the injuries he received.
“It could have been a lot worse.
“Peter rung me the day of Maxin’s surgery. He was crying and told me he put the dog down.
“Peter has never (since) contacted me to make sure Maxin’s ok. Instead they’ve been telling family members the dog did attack Maxin but it was only a small bite.
“It hurts me as a mother to see my wee boy like this.”
Hastings District Council’s regulatory solutions manager John Payne said they did not hear about the attack until May 23.
He said the attacking dog had not been seized as it was unknown which dog attacked after two were seized from the owner’s property.
Mr Payne said the complainant understood the dog would be put down by its owner.
However, this did not happen. Mr Payne added the owner now claimed the attacking dog was a stray.
Mr Payne said: “The dogs were seized on June 10 to allow Hastings District Council Animal Control the opportunity to further investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack and to prevent further possible harm.
“The owner of those two dogs was interviewed and based on his statement Council had no authority to hold them, hence they were released June 11 pending the finalisation of the investigation.
“The investigation is still ongoing. We understand there are further witnesses and we are awaiting contact details in order to interview them.
“We will then make a decision on a possible prosecution. One of the key considerations will be whether there is enough evidence to get a conviction.”
Mr Payne added the dogs and been released on strict conditions and were subject to inspections by the council.