A boy of four has been left with horrific injuries after being savaged by a dog which “flipped” in the hot weather.
Riley Fox was playing in his neighbour’s garden when he had his face ripped open by the animal, believed to be a Rhodesian Ridgeback-pitbull cross.
The youngster was playing with friends when the powerful dog snapped and clamped its jaws around Riley’s face.
He was left with a gaping hole in his cheek and deep cuts around his eye and mouth after being viciously tossed around.
These pictures – published with the permission of his parents – show the extent of Riley’s horrific injuries.
His dad Tony, 28, said: “If it had bitten him a couple of inches lower it would have ripped his throat out.”
Tony, from Widnes, Cheshire, called for stricter controls to be brought in for certain breeds.
Riley was attacked last week by the dog called Mac – which has been put down – while playing with five other children. At the time his mum Sam, 22, was at another neighbour’s having a cup of tea.
Horrific: Riley’s face was torn open
Call centre worker Tony said: “All the kids were playing together. Everyone’s doors were open because it was so warm. Then all of a sudden people could hear screaming.
“The dog had hold of Riley’s head and was ragging him about. One of the neighbours was dragging the dog off him. He was covered in blood. They were holding towels up to Riley’s face, three of them were soaked in his blood.”
Tony said he raced home after getting a message about the attack.
He said: “When I got back it was just horrific – his cheek was hanging off his face, his eye and lips were all sliced open. He very nearly lost his eye.”
To make matters worse, Tony says they waited 25 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. Riley was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool where he had surgery.
Dangerous: The dog which attacked Riley
Tony said: “When they were treating him they found a piece of the dog’s tooth in his face.”
He said the youngster was worried about how he’d look when he starts school next month, but added: “He’s been really brave. We don’t want him to have a complex about dogs.
“His nan and grandad used to have a big German Shepherd so he’s grown up with dogs.”
Tony said the dog’s owner had apologised: “He was at work, it was a relative who should have been keeping the dog under control. He didn’t let it out when kids were playing.”
He added: “There should be a register for these dogs and they shouldn’t be allowed around kids.”
Cheshire Police said they were investigating the attack.