|Pictures taken after the attack in Widnes show the little boy with gaping holes in his cheek and deep cuts around his eye and mouth. The dog believed to be a Rhodesian Ridgeback-pitbull cross, clamped its jaws around his face.|
A boy of four's face was ripped open by a dog which 'flipped' in the hot weather and savaged him as he played.
Riley Fox was in his neighbour’s garden with five other children when the animal, believed to be a Rhodesian Ridgeback-pitbull cross, clamped its jaws around his face.
Pictures taken after the attack in Widnes show the little boy with gaping holes in his cheek and deep cuts around his eye and mouth.
His father Tony, 28, said: 'If it had bitten him a couple of inches lower it would have ripped his throat out.'
The child was attacked last week by the dog called Mac - which has since been put down.
His mother Sam, 22, was at another neighbour’s house having a cup of tea at the time of the attack.
Mr Fox 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.'
He added: '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.'
Mr Fox added that they waited 25 minutes for an ambulance to arrive, when his son was taken to Alder Hey Children's hospital in Liverpool where he underwent emergency surgery.
He said: 'When they were treating him they found a piece of the dog’s tooth in his face.'
Mr Fox said his son was due to start school next month and had been very brave.
He said: '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.'
The dog’s owner has since apologised and the dog has been destroyed.
He said: 'He was at work, it was a relative who should have been keeping the dog under control.'
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.
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