UK & World News

  • 7 March 2014, 15:05

Girl 'Bitten 100 Times' In Horrific Dog Attack

A seven-year-old girl is in a critical condition after she was mauled by four Staffordshire Bull Terrier-cross dogs.

Sakurako Uehara was bitten around 100 times all over her body and face.

Her family was visiting New Zealand from Japan when the dogs, owned by a family friend, attacked.

Doctors at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital believe the youngster was conscious during the ordeal, which also crushed some of her bones.

At a news conference on Friday, surgeon Zac Moaveni said the girl's condition after the attack was "horrific".

"I don't think any of us were prepared for what we were going to see," he said.

"Any one of those (bites) would make you wince ... it's not just the bite with a dog, it's the crush and the force that's behind it.

"It's a very different injury than, say, a stab wound or a cat bite."

He added: "You can't always immediately tell which tissue is going to survive and which tissue is not going to survive.

"That's why it takes a number of operations before we even start to work out what we are dealing with."

Dr David Galler, from the hospital's intensive care unit, said the wounds were "grossly contaminated" and described them as the worst bite injuries he had ever seen.

Sakurako is expected to need repeated plastic and reconstructive surgery until she reaches adulthood.

The dogs have been put down and police are considering whether to bring charges over the attack, which took place on Murupara on North Island.

There has been no comment on why the animals attacked but police said they were registered and adults were around at the time.

In a written statement, the girl's family saidSakurako was their only daughter.

"We don't know what to expect in the coming weeks and months," they said.

"We have a long journey ahead. 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."

An appeal for the family has already raised more than 100,000 New Zealand dollars (51,000) and the Japanese Society of New Zealand is also giving them support.

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