| 5.9°C Dublin

Toddler attacked by gran's collie will be scarred for life

A toddler needed 200 stitches in his face after being horrifically injured by his grand- mother's collie.

Two-year-old Joshua Mann underwent emergency surgery but will still be scarred for life following the attack.

Joshua will have to endure further surgery before he can go home. His mother, Lisa Mann (23) spoke of her shock at seeing her bloodied son in hospital.

"I thought he was going to die. He looked in so much pain," she said. "All I wanted to do was pick him up and hold him, but I wasn't allowed. It was the worst feeling ever."


The attack took place when Joshua was at his grandparents' farm near Cheltenham, south-west England.

"Joshua was stroking the sheep dog, Rossie, when she jumped up and latched onto his face.

"Rossie pulled him to the ground and wouldn't release him," Ms Mann said.

"His dad and others ran over and started punching the dog to get him to let go." Joshua was taken to the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on Saturday last, where he underwent two operations to repair the damage to his face. He underwent a third operation yesterday.

Ms Mann said: "When I turned up, seeing the injuries for the first time, I nearly passed out with the sight of blood. The size of his face was unreal, the way it had swelled up."

Describing Joshua's injuries, she added: "You could see right through his cheek to his teeth, the cut went through to the inside of his mouth. He also has wounds to his neck that were millimetres from the main artery carrying blood to the brain. He has scars all over his back, the back of his head and behind his ear."

The dog has since been put down.


Ms Mann is now warning parents to take care around all dogs, not just those seen as dangerous breeds. "You just need to be more aware, if a dog is not brought up around children, if they're not used to them, they can just go," she said.

"People naturally think it's pitbulls, rottweilers and the other dangerous breeds, but this was a collie. It's not usual that a collie would do this, but he wasn't brought up with children and snapped.

"If a dog is not used to the attention, it's just not worth it. You should just not have them in the same room."

The RSPCA warned parents that no matter how kind and trustworthy a pet may be, any dog can potentially pose a risk.

Spokeswoman Jude Clay said: "The RSPCA believes that a dangerous dog is not defined by breed. We believe that a lot of the issues related to dangerous dogs could be tackled with the introduction of a properly enforced dog licence which would raise funds to plough into problems such as injuries from dog bites, dog control and responsible pet ownership.

"Our thoughts go out to the family and we wish the boy a speedy recovery."