The mother of a three-years-old boy who required surgery after a dog bit through his ear on Wednesday has urged owners to exercise greater control over their pets.
Aisling O’Hagan’s son, Riley, was left bloodied and requiring hospital treatment after the incident at approximately 8.30pm in Creggan.
Ms. O’Hagan said the dog, which was wearing a collar but was unattended, had been hanging around their Creggan Heights home for most of Wednesday.
Despite efforts to chase it, the dog wouldn’t budge, and eventually turned on one of the local children.
“I told the children to stay away from it,” she said. “Then my wee boy [Riley] was out the back playing on the swings and he went to climb over the fence and the dog jumped up and grabbed him by the ear. It bit right through his ear and ripped the back of his ear. He had to get surgery to get it all cleaned out and sewn back together. The blood was running down and I had to change him before I took him to the hospital.”
Local councillor Gary Donnelly said someone could have been even more seriously hurt.
“People need to know there are dangers associated with keeping dogs. If they allow them to roam loose like this, then this can happen. We are very lucky we are not looking at a fatality.
“If this had been a few inches lower, this child could have been bitten on the throat,” he said.
Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed it was aware of the alleged incident and was investigating.