Warning: This article contains graphic images some people may find distressing.
A seven-year-old boy has been left with stitches in his face and mouth after he was attacked by a dog.
Hunter Baldwin and his family had just arrived at Stillwater Beach on Sunday afternoon, when he saw a pit bull-like dog and asked to pat it.
Mum Angela Rowley told Newshub that she told him not to touch the dog, but its owner said she "loved kids" and they could give her a pat.
"I turned my back for five seconds, then I heard a growl and my son scream."
Hunter received deep wounds in his cheek and inside his mouth. Ms Rowley says the dog's owner told her he would have the dog put down, before quickly leaving the beach.
"I was quite annoyed that he didn't stick around or say sorry."
She took her son to Silverdale Medical Centre and he was transferred to Starship, then Middlemore Hospital for surgery.
He received six stitches in his face, and more inside his mouth.
Ms Rowley says Hunter is a "normal little boy" who loved dogs before yesterday's incident, and that the attack has left him feeling insecure.
"He told me, 'I don't like dogs, they scare me'. It's dented both his love of dogs and his self-confidence. He says, 'I don't want anyone to see me'."
She says other parents should be mindful of their children's safety around dogs.
"I just want people to be aware, whether the dog looks nice or not. Don't always trust your first instinct."
Ms Rowley says she was disappointed with a lack of action by the police when she reported the attack, but the incident is currently being investigated by Auckland Council.