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Young boy attacked by dog retrieving his football

A SIX year old boy has spent five days in hospital after being mauled by a dog while trying to retrieve his football.

Rhys Jones, from Carmarthen, was playing football with his friends when his ball went over a fence into a neighbouring property.

Upon entering the garden, a dog believed to be a Staffordshire Bull Terrier attacked Rhys – biting him on his arms and legs.

Dyfed Powys Police are investigating the incident.

The attack was brought to an end only when the dog in question was attacked by another dog.

Rhys was swiftly taken to hospital were he sustained an infected bite on his foot and broken bones.

His grandfather, Anthony Rowlands has said how his grandson is very lucky to be alive.

Mr Rowlands, who lives in nearby Bro Myrddin said: “One of my daughters was watching Rhys after school at her home.”

“I had just finished work and all of a sudden my daughter called in a panic to say that Rhys was on his way to hospital.

“I was absolutely mortified and went straight there. When I walked into the room I held Rhys. His eyes were going white. The doctor said it was because he was so scared.”

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Rhys spent a total of five day in Glangwili Hospital and is too frightened to look at his injuries, said his grandfather.

Attacked: after retrieving football from neighbouring property

The incident, which occurred on the afternoon of Monday, April 1, has resulted in Rhys having to undergo and operation on his foot and will be required to wear a protective boot for around six weeks.

Mr Rowlands is convinced without the actions of the other dog, Rhys would not be here to tell the tale.

He explains that the tragic incident at a caravan park in Cornwall, where a nine year old boy died after being attacked by a dog, proves the outcome could have been much worse.

He went on to say “That other dog saved him, without a doubt.”

“That dog knew Rhys because he’d seen him plenty of times before. Rhys was bitten a number of times before the other dog reacted, and I believe, hand on heart, that if that hadn’t happened then Rhys would not be here now.

“A man who lived next door then picked Rhys up and carried him into the kitchen, but he was bleeding everywhere.

“When you read about that tragedy last week when a young boy was killed – he was older, bigger and stronger than Rhys, who’s only six – it makes you realise what could have happened.”

The youngster who is an avid liverpool fan and loves to play football outside at every opportunity, has been left terrified by the attack.

Mr Rowlands said “Rhys grew up with a dog, so he’s used to being around them all the time.”

“He’s never been afraid of dogs or anything. But, the other day, when he saw a neighbour’s dog – only a small, gentle dog – he screamed.

“He’s also too frightened to look at his own foot. When I was giving him a cuddle in the hospital, he kept asking ‘why did the dog bite me?’

“He is such a loving and caring little boy and he loves animals”

“That’s why had no issues going into the garden to get the ball back. Right now, he’s very frightened; we can only hope that the long-term effects won’t be too damaging.”