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Savaged Dublin boy 'lucky to be alive' after 'face ripped apart' by vicious dog

WARNING: Graphic images

The dog has since been put down but Daryl's parents, Deborah and Robbie from Lohunda Downs, said he lucky to be alive after the incident.

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Darryl back home with his parents Robbie Graham and Deborah Brady and brother Jamie.

Darryl back home with his parents Robbie Graham and Deborah Brady and brother Jamie.

Darryl back home with his parents Robbie Graham and Deborah Brady and brother Jamie.

The parents of a 12-year-old boy whose face was ripped apart by a vicious American bulldog have pleaded with dog owners to put muzzles on dangerous animals.

Darryl Brady-Graham was out playing football with his pals in Clonsilla, north Dublin, last Saturday when he was attacked by the dog in a horrific incident that has left him with 150 stitches in his face.

The dog has since been put down but Daryl's parents, Deborah and Robbie from Lohunda Downs, said he lucky to be alive after the incident.

Earlier this year an eight-year-old boy died after being attacked by two Rottweiler dogs in Co Dublin.

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Daryl suffered horrific injuries to his face, and arm and had to undergo plastic surgery
before returning home to his family

Daryl suffered horrific injuries to his face, and arm and had to undergo plastic surgery before returning home to his family

Daryl suffered horrific injuries to his face, and arm and had to undergo plastic surgery before returning home to his family

Deborah has pleaded with owners to muzzle their animals and told parents to warn their children not to get close to such dogs.

In Ireland a number of dog breeds including the one that attacked Darryl are on a restricted breed list and must be muzzled when out in public.

They must also be kept on a short lead by a person aged over 16 who is capable of controlling them. The maximum penalty for not keeping a dog under control is a maximum fine of €2,500, three months in prison or both.

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A dog similar to the one that attacked Darryl

A dog similar to the one that attacked Darryl

A dog similar to the one that attacked Darryl

"You can imagine how vicious the attack was. His face is just ripped apart. I don't know how he survived it or got away from the dog," Deborah told the Sunday World.

His father Robbie added: "He's very lucky to be alive because the type of dog it was, an XL [American] bully dog, are big and muscular so we're blessed to still have him here.

Deborah said Darryl had gone to play football on a local pitch last Saturday afternoon when the attack took place.

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Young Daryl had been playing football with his
friends when the dog attacked

Young Daryl had been playing football with his friends when the dog attacked

Young Daryl had been playing football with his friends when the dog attacked

Growling

A 14-year-old boy was walking the dog but had lost control of it.

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Darryl back home with his parents Robbie Graham and Deborah Brady and brother Jamie.

Darryl back home with his parents Robbie Graham and Deborah Brady and brother Jamie.

Darryl back home with his parents Robbie Graham and Deborah Brady and brother Jamie.

"It ran from the back field towards one of the kids. Darryl was trying to help the owner [and] was calling the dog to try and get him back to the owner. They got him back to the owner who got him on the lead. Darryl asked if he could pet the dog and the owner said 'you can but if you're afraid of him he'll be afraid of you'.

"Darryl said he wasn't afraid of the dog and he went to rub the dog and the dog started growling.

"He stopped rubbing him and turned around and looked at his friend shouting at him to watch out. Then the dog jumped up and reefed him down. He viciously attacked him and ripped his face apart. The owner was only a 14-year-old kid. He was trying to pull the chain and get the dog away from my son but any time he pulled him back the dog was latching on more and wouldn't stop."

Robbie added: "The dog jumped up on his face and pulled him on to the ground. He then tried to bite him in the neck as well and he ended up covering himself and pushing one side of his face on the ground to protect himself but the dog ended up biting one side along with his arms. The dog eventually stopped because he got distracted by something and he was able to get up and run."

Darryl managed to make his way home and Deborah ended up drove him to hospital herself because the ambulance was taking so long.

She rushed to James Connolly Hospital where he had first aid and was given antibiotics before he was transferred by ambulance to Temple Street Children's Hospital where he underwent surgery.

"He needed plastic surgery. He was in surgery for four hours and needed 150 stitches in his face alone and he had to get 10 in his arms and he's full of bruises. I just wanted to get it out there for people to be aware of the extent of what can happen."

She said Darryl has been really brave about the incident but she doesn't know what kind of long term effect it could have on him.

"He's been so brave. I don't know what type of effect it's going to have on him mentally.

"He's been very good about it and he's been able to talk about it, which is amazing. Some adults wouldn't be able to come to terms with something like that.

Fighting

"It's my worst nightmare. You expect them to fall off a wall or something like that but you don't expect something like this."

She said she has now told Darryl not to pet any dogs even if he gets permission from the owner and has urged owners to muzzle their dogs.

"When you buy one of these dogs you know they're a dangerous breed so do the right thing and put a muzzle on them."

American Bully dogs have become increasingly popular in recent years and some owners enter them in illegal dog fighting but Deborah said the one that bit her son was not a fighting dog.

"I don't blame the young fella, it was their pet. He wasn't a fighting dog. Why that day he lashed out at my son I don't know but it just goes to show you it can happen."

She said the 14-year-old's father came around and apologised for what happened.

"The owner did the right thing and had the dog put down and he came around and talked to us. He held his hand up and tried to be reasonable and understanding but it doesn't take away from the fact my son is left permanently scarred."

Robbie added: "Dog owners, if you do have a dangerous breed of dog make sure they're muzzled. If the dog on the day had been muzzled this wouldn't have happened."

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