A two-year-old boy whose face was mauled by a dog in a horrific attack, tearing his cheek and exposing his teeth, is lucky to be alive – but will forever be scared by the incident.
Maxin Bennett, of Christchurch, suffered injuries so severe he will need ongoing surgery when he was attacked by a dog named Zeus in a family member’s driveway on March 14.
The ‘wee boy’ was holding a sausage, riding a bike and being watched by his grandparents at the time of the incident.
His mother Alana Trainor said they had been left traumatised.
Maxin Bennett (pictured), two, was attacked while holding a sausage and riding a bike along the driveway in view of his grandparents
Ms Trainor said the dog was not previously known to Maxin (pictured) but was present throughout the party as it was Mr Trainor’s dog
The 29-year-old, who traveled with her son from Christchurch to Hastings to attend the 50th birthday of her uncle and dog’s owner, Peter Trainor, was resting in a bedroom of the property during the attack.
‘My mum came screaming up to me that the dog had attacked my son,’ she said.
‘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’.
Ms Hastings, who rushed her son to Hawke’s Bay Hospital before being airlifted to Christchurch Hospital for surgery, said she now worried for future bullying with her boy ‘as a result of the scar’, which Maxin now called his ‘ouchie’.
Ms Trainor confirmed Maxin will have to undergo a number of other surgeries as he grows, and said the dog was not previously known to Maxin but was present throughout the party.
‘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,’ she said.
The incident has caused a rift between the family, with the family traumatised, the dog still alive and its owner refusing responsibility.
Maxin’s mother, Alana Trainor, believes Zeus, the dog which attacked her little boy (pictured), is a Staffordshire bull terrier
Ms Trainor confirmed Maxin (pictured) will have to undergo a number of other surgeries as he grows
Ms Trainer started a petition this month ‘to have Zeus removed so it doesn’t happen to another child and another family do not have to go through what we are going through’.
She also lodged a complaint with the Hastings District Council.
‘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,’ Ms Trainer said.
‘Peter rung me the day of Maxin’s surgery. He was crying and told me he put the dog down.
Ms Trainor, who supplied screenshots of family and friends commenting on the situation with Mr Trainor, said: ‘I have had a huge reaction from people around NZ. Mostly positive … ‘
‘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.’
HDC’s regulatory solutions manager told Daily Mail Australia council’s animal control team did not hear about the attack until May 23.
John Payne said the attacking dog had not been seized as it was unknown which dog attacked after two were seized from the owner’s property.
The incident has caused a rift between the family, with Ms Trainor’s parents traumatised by Maxin (pictured) being attacked, the dog still alive and its owner refusing responsibility
Little Maxin (pictured) before he was attacked in March. His mum, Ms Trainer, has since started a petition ‘to have Zeus removed so it doesn’t happen to another child’
He 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.
‘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,’ Mr Payne said.
‘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.
Ms Trainor said she now worried for future bullying with her boy ‘as a result of the scar’, which Maxin (pictured) now called his ‘ouchie’
‘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 said the dogs were released on strict conditions including inspections by council and the dog unable to leave the property, except in an emergency.
Mr Trainor was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for publication.