By Rachel Helyer Donaldson
The Kaipara District mayor Craig Jepson says the surge of dog attacks in Northland is extremely concerning but the issue needs to be a top priority for all councils.
A two year old child was critically injured on Friday when they were attacked at home by a family pet in Mangawhai.
Police said the dog belonged to the family and they were not treating the incident as suspicious.
It has since been seized by Animal Control and destroyed.
Jepson said the region's councils were working hard to deal with dangerous dogs in the wake of a large number of attacks.
"We've had a number of dog attacks in northern districts and the Far North and it's become an issue that's been at the forefront for all councils to try and grapple with the situation."
He said Kaipara District Council had been very proactive in tracking roaming dogs down, and getting rangers to take them in.
But he admitted it was even more difficult when dogs turned on owners.
Jepson said there seemed to be a recurring pattern of dogs who were poorly trained.
He also said that children could be very trusting and were vulnerable to dogs with a bad nature.
Jepson said the attack on the Mangawhai toddler was "terrible".
"My first concern is that this child has been injured and my wishes go to the family and the child."
It's just over a month since a woman was killed by a whānau dog in her backyard in Moerewa, in the Far North.