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