A schoolboy has been left scarred for life after being attacked by an off-the-lead Rottweiler.
The 12-year-old from Ayrshire, Scotland was walking to meet friends when the dog bolted across a road and latched onto his left forearm.
He was only rescued when bystanders stepped in to help, with the dog’s owner said to have been too scared to intervene, reports the Daily Record.
The boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was left with nerve damage and numerous puncture wounds in the unprovoked attack.
He recalled: “I was just walking when I heard a car horn and when I turned round the dog was on me. I don’t remember much but it was really scary.”
Nearby workers who were on a break chased the dog away and lifted the boy over a wall to safety.
He was then rushed to hospital, where he stayed for two nights and underwent surgical treatment.
The youngster’s wounds healed within around 12 weeks, but he was left with significant scarring and a profound fear of dogs.
He said: “I don’t have much feeling around the bite marks and when I touch the skin it’s like I’m touching someone else’s arm.
“I definitely don’t like dogs anymore and now I cross the street if I see any dog coming towards me and I don’t like going to the park or beach where I see dogs off a lead.”
The boy’s mum hopes the attack will teach people to keep their dogs on the lead.
She said: “I am a firm believer that bad dog breeds do not exist – but bad dog owners do.
“What happened to my son is proof of that and I hope people learn from this to stop future tragedies.
“The nurses said they’d never seen a dog bite like it.
“Before the attack my son was the biggest animal lover in the family but that’s now changed – he’s now even wary around dogs he’s known for years like his gran’s dogs.”
The 27-year-old male owner of the Rottweiler was prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
The Sheriff issued a £300 fine and ordered the dog to be destroyed at a later sentencing hearing.
Damian White, Partner at Digby Brown in Ayr, said: “What happened to this young boy was truly traumatic – he suffered serious injuries but psychological scars have their own lasting impact too.
“While this dog owner was prosecuted a conviction is not essential for people to seek damages in the civil court.”
The boy’s mum added: “No one wants to see a dog destroyed but the authorities must have had reason to believe there was a future risk.
“What is strange to me is people who adopt dogs from charities have to go through screening, background checks or home visits.
“Yet when buying a dog privately or online, any person can buy any dog without any checks.
“At the very least, keeping a dog on a lead in public places is a reasonable place to start in responsible dog ownership.
“What happened could have been much worse and I hope people learn from this.”