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Girl bitten 100 times in New Zealand dog attack

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:54 p.m. HST, Mar 07, 2014


AUCKLAND, New Zealand » New Zealand doctors said Friday that a 7-year-old Japanese girl was bitten about 100 times during a dog mauling that has horrified many in the South Pacific nation.

Zac Moaveni, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital, told reporters that the girl, Sakurako Uehara, would likely need repeated surgeries until she was a grown woman.

He said she would have been conscious throughout the attack and the bites were all over her body.

"Any one of those would make you wince," he said, adding that "it's not just the bite with a dog, but it's the crush and the force that's behind it. It's a very different injury than to say a stab wound, or a cat bite."

Hospital officials said Friday the girl remained in a critical but stable condition.

According to police, the girl was attacked Monday by four Staffordshire bull terrier-cross dogs in the North Island town of Murupara while her family was visiting friends who owned the animals.

The dogs have been euthanized.

A social worker read reporters a statement from the girl's family, in which they said they worked in the food industry in Japan and that Sakurako was their only daughter.

"We don't know what to expect in the coming weeks and months. We have a long journey ahead," the statement said. "We simply wish to take things one day at a time. We are grateful for all the various offers of support. Many people want to know how they can help. Please just keep Sakurako in your prayers."

Fairfax Media reported that the girl was enrolled at a Maori language immersion school in Murupara for a month and that the family was planning to return to Japan to sort out residency requirements for a longer stay in New Zealand.

Concerned observers have donated more than $85,000 to help the family.

Police said they are investigating whether to lay criminal charges against the dog owners or anyone else.







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GONEGOLFIN wrote:
"or anyone else"? Who exactly would they file charges against beyond the owners?
on March 7,2014 | 07:16AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Bull terriers huh?
on March 7,2014 | 07:22AM
tutulois wrote:
So horrible. People can be such idiots about their dear little pets.
on March 7,2014 | 07:41AM
joseph007 wrote:
Dogs should be locked up, on secure leashes at all times. I see people in Hawaii letting their "friendly dogs" running loose at parks, school grounds, etc. with no thought of children playing. It will happen here again. People are the problem, as usual.
on March 7,2014 | 08:40AM
Anonymous wrote:
Everyone thinks their dogs are friendly. Pit bulls are super sweet for example -- until they kill.
on March 7,2014 | 05:53PM
saveparadise wrote:
The parents must feel terrible but are totally accountable. Good parents do not leave a child unattended with large dogs. Prayers be with you Sakurako.
on March 7,2014 | 09:03AM
2localgirl wrote:
I heard this on the radio on Monday while in NZ(Sunday in HNL). Yes, what a horrible time in this families life!! This is not the first time a child has been attacked. The last was a girl, about 9 yrs ago if I remember correctly. She survived with God's grace.
on March 7,2014 | 09:04AM
paniolo wrote:
Hoping for a speedy recovery for Sakurako.
on March 7,2014 | 11:29AM
sailfish1 wrote:
How horrible. The dog owners should be severely punished for letting their vicious dogs loose while strangers are on the property.
on March 7,2014 | 01:24PM
Mahalo wrote:
I wish we had more details? Like were these watch dogs and she got to close or were they pets in the home that just suddenly attacked...
on March 7,2014 | 04:53PM
Mahalo wrote:
I forgot to add that doesn't change that this poor girl and what she went through but gives us a better understanding of the events
on March 7,2014 | 04:53PM
HOSSANA wrote:
Oh, my...oh, my....my heartfelt prayers to the little girl as she will endure so much hardships growing up with more surgeries pending......wishing her nothing but the best ....oh, I can only wish there is a God that will take care of this poor little girl......I feel so bad for her and looking at her pix just makes me want to cry..........
on March 7,2014 | 05:01PM
cojef wrote:
Agree, feel very sad for the family of this little girl also. Hope time will heal the mental wounds this little girl experienced and the physical pains suffered.
on March 8,2014 | 10:03AM
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