Dog sav­ages girl

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

IN an af­ter­noon Mimi Sayid went from be­ing a happy 10-year-old ad­just­ing well to life in New Zealand to ly­ing blood­ied on a hos­pi­tal bed af­ter be­ing mauled by a dog.

Now the school where she was attacked is ask­ing peo­ple to take more care if they’re go­ing to use the grounds to ex­er­cise their pets.

Mimi was play­ing with her two younger brothers at Pasadena In­ter­me­di­ate School about 5pm on Oc­to­ber 16.

At the same time a young man was walk­ing his labrador cross dog with­out a leash.

Mimi’s brothers ran and climbed up a tree when the dog ap­proached them but Mimi stayed put – think­ing she wasn’t in dan­ger, her step­fa­ther Edosa Mustefa says.

The dog attacked Mimi, bit­ing her on both sides of her stom­ach and leav­ing her with wounds on her hands from try­ing to push it away.

‘‘The man couldn’t get him off Mimi. He put a leash on him to pull him back and told Mimi to run,’’ Mr Mustefa says.

The Pt Che­va­lier res­i­dent be­lieves the at­tack lasted seven or eight min­utes.

Mr Mustefa came home from work to find Mimi walk­ing along the road cry­ing and cov­ered in blood.

He called an am­bu­lance and po­lice.

Mimi was taken to Star­ship chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal where she un­der­went surgery and spent three nights.

Mr Mustefa has lived in New Zealand for eight years.

His wife Besh­eriya and her three chil­dren ar­rived in New Zealand 11 months ago from Ethiopia.

Mimi is not yet a res­i­dent so Mr Mustefa is liv­ing with the added stress that he could be asked to pay for her hos­pi­tal care.

‘‘I’m re­ally scared go­ing to get a bill.’’

The fam­ily’s ex­pe­ri­ences in Africa mean they are still wor­ried for Mimi’s health even though she is gen­er­ally re­cov­er­ing well, apart from some per­sis­tent pain and be­ing a bit fright­ened to play out­side alone.

I’m

Ra­bies is a pos­si­ble re­sult of dog bites in Ethiopia and even though the of­ten fatal disease is not present in New Zealand it still plays on the fam­ily’s minds.

Pasadena In­ter­me­di­ate School prin­ci­pal Tony Walsh says the school has no power to stop peo­ple walk­ing dogs in its grounds af­ter hours be­cause it is pub­lic land.

‘‘If peo­ple are go­ing to we would like them to be cour­te­ous and, if there are chil­dren play­ing or their dog does its busi­ness, they at­tend to it as they would in a park.’’

The dog

that

attacked Mimi was seized by Auck­land Coun­cil staff.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion is un­der way. The owner of a dog that has attacked some­one can face a max­i­mum penalty of three years in prison and a $3000 fine.

Po­lice are also aware of the in­ci­dent.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Re­turn: Mimi Sayid on the Pasadena In­ter­me­di­ate School sports court where she was mauled by a dog.

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