A NINE-year-old Wigan boy has undergone emergency facial surgery after being savaged by a dog.
The animal, reported to be a Staffordshire bull terrier, has since been put down.
The unnamed youngster is understood to have been playing football with friends in Pepperwood Drive, Winstanley, when he was attacked as he went to retrieve the ball.
With blood pouring from his cheek, the distressed boy was taken to Wigan Infirmary on Tuesday evening and was then transferred to a specialist unit the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
It was there that he received surgery and has been recuperating since.
The owners of the pet have since given it up to be destroyed.
A police spokesman confirmed that officers attended the scene at 6.10pm on Tuesday and that the child had received facial injuries which were serious but not life threatening.
A local resident, who did not wish to be identified, said: “The children had been playing in the street, the dog escaped from the house and attacked the child while he was retrieving a football.”
Family members were yesterday at the child’s bedside and he is said to be recovering well.
Local councillor Paul Kenny voiced his concern about the incident and sent his best wishes to the young boy and his relatives.
He said: “It must have been a terrifying experience for the young lad and I very much hope that he makes a full recovery. I understand that the dog has been put down and this was the right course of action in these dreadful circumstances.
“In the last few years, there have been many dreadful attacks on people by dogs.
“In some cases, the dog was a household pet that was fully trusted by the owner, but this latest attack only serves to prove how all dogs need to be treated with care at all times, and I appeal to all owners to keep their dog on a lead in public.”
Wigan RSPCA branch manager Bill Stubbs added: “These types of dogs are well known for having such strong jaws and sharp teeth.
“While they can be great pets, these two factors must always be remembered.
“Not all have a vicious nature but they can still be very dangerous.”