'long road' | 

Boy (9) left with horror injuries after dog attack says ‘I wish I had my face back’

“Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and God bless you,” he said.

Alejandro Miszan pictured with his sister Esterd, father Florin, mother Otilid and brother Raul. Photo: Jim Campbell

Alejandro Miszan has returned home from hospital. Photo: Jim Campbell

Alejandro Miszan

Amy MolloyIndependent.ie

A young boy who spent six weeks in hospital after he was viciously attacked by a pit bull cross has thanked the people of Ireland for the huge support shown to him and his family.

Alejandro Miszan (9) returned to his home estate in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford on Tuesday and was welcomed by dozens of friends, family and neighbours.

“Thank you to everyone who prayed for me and God bless you,” he said.

He underwent a number of operations in Crumlin Children’s Hospital after suffering severe facial injuries in the attack.

“Everyone was lovely. All the doctors and all of the nurses were nice to me. I am delighted I am home.”

Alejandro Miszan thanks everyone for their support as he returns home following vicious dog attack

However, his family said the young boy has a long road ahead as he will have to travel abroad for more procedures.

“I don’t like how I look. I wish I had my face back,” Alejandro said.

The incident happened on November 27 when he was playing with his friends on the green of the Old Forge Road estate.

A pit bull which was unmuzzled attacked Alejandro while he played football.

Had a neighbour not intervened with a baseball bat to fend the dog off, his family feared he may not have survived.

He had to be airlifted to hospital from the local GAA pitch due to the severity of his injuries.

Alejandro Miszan has returned home from hospital. Photo: Jim Campbell

The brave young boy said he was “excited” to return to school in the near future.

His older brother Raul said that the family is “very happy” to have him home.

“Just for one day we felt everything was normal again but it’s not really normal. He has trauma physically and mentally.

“We wish this had never happened but we thank God he is alive and still with us and we can be with him and he can be with us. There is a very long road ahead of him and we need all the support from everybody.

“We want to start treatment and a lip replacement.”

A welcome home event has been organised for this Friday, with car owners invited to gather in the Enniscorthy area.

Alejandro is a lover of cars and his brother said the family is “extremely grateful”.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise funds to help the family has raised more than €180,000 so far.

Meanwhile, the Government has now established a working group to examine dog laws and enforcement and control of dogs in the wake of the attack on Alejandro. The group, consisting of officials from both departments, will look at issues including fines under the Control of Dogs Act, enforcement at local authority level, the provision of dog wardens, microchipping, promoting responsible dog ownership and licences.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin described the incident in Wexford as “shocking” and “disturbing”.

The Irish Independent previously reported how the pit bull that attacked the nine-year-old boy was being kept in a house without the permission of housing body Tuath.

Alejandro Miszan

Pit bulls and nine other breeds of dog are banned from the Old Forge Road estate.

In response to queries, Tuath said its rules on pets are “crystal clear”

“Tenants must ask permission to keep a pet, but tenants are strictly prohibited from keeping dangerous dogs. A list of prohibited, dangerous dogs is set out in our tenancy agreement, which all tenants must sign and adhere to. Before taking up a tenancy, all tenants moving in are advised of dangerous dog breeds, as identified in legislation and the rules around not keeping them are covered in compulsory pre-tenancy training and in our Tenant Handbook.

“The property where the dog was kept without permission has been vacated.”

Some children who witnessed the attack received counselling in the aftermath.

Figures provided by Wexford County Council show dozens of attacks involving pit bulls were reported in the last six years. There have been 54 incidents involving pit bulls since 2017.

Wexford County Council said there had been a notable increase last year, with 15 incidents recorded, compared to four in the previous year. The majority of these involved people being chased or attacked.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue and Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys met on Monday to discuss how their departments can address shared concerns regarding dog control and ownership.

He said: “As two ministers with primary responsibility in the area of dogs, Ms Humphreys and I held a very constructive meeting with a focus on working closely together in the time ahead.

“There is a clear commitment from both of us to tackle this issue and ensure that the law is as robust as possible to ensure that both people and animals are safe.

“Our dogs are more than pets, they are our companions and loyal friends. However, the harrowing scenes we have witnessed recently show the threat dogs can pose if they are not properly controlled by their owners.

“Both Minister Humphreys and I will work proactively on this in the time ahead.”

Ms Humphreys said: “Attacks by dogs can have a devastating impact on families, as we have seen during a number of deeply disturbing incidents in recent weeks.”

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