A 12-year-old boy has been left scared to go outside alone after being attacked by a Rottweiler.
The youngster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was walking to the park to meet friends when the dog ran out of a nearby garden and latched onto his arm.
A bystander intervened to save him from the dog and his parents were called before he was rushed to hospital.
Months later, the schoolboy, from Ayrshire, has been left with nerve damage and scarring on his left arm.
His mum told STV News: “The dog was ragdolling him. A guy standing nearby jumped in and got him to safety.
“When I got the calls from my husband, I ran out of work – I didn’t expect it to be as bad as it was.
“It was horrific. The doctors had to open the wound to make sure there were no teeth or dog hairs. He [her son] didn’t look at it for 12 weeks until it settled down.”
The schoolboy is now afraid of dogs and no longer goes outside on his own.
“This will stay with him for a long time,” his mum said. “He is a big animal lover but he won’t go near dogs.
“He phones me when he’s somewhere there are dogs off the lead. I don’t want him to be scared of dogs forever, but it’s still quite raw for him.”
Doctors told the family he is likely to recover from the injuries due to his young age, and he has been swimming to rebuild his strength.
His mum is now appealing for dog owners to keep their pets on leads around members of the public.
She urged them: “Be aware of people who may not like dogs or are not sure of them. Things can happen.
“It’s quite hard and I’ve become overprotective, but it’s brought us a wee bit closer.”
Following the attack, Nicolas Stewart, 28, from Ayr, was convicted of failing to control a dog and fined £300 at Ayr Sheriff Court.
Legal firm Digby Brown, which is representing the victim’s family, said it had dealt with a rise in dog attacks over the past few years.
Damian White, a partner at Digby Brown, said: “Whilst numbers are not huge, we’ve noticed a general upward trend on claims we’re submitting on behalf of clients who have fallen victim to dog attacks and bites.
“Victims have to remember that they don’t have to prove the keeper of the dog is negligent – the Animals Scotland Act ensures the keeper has strict liability in such cases, which makes pursuing cases a lot more straightforward.”