Paul-Naylass Passmore’s knitted blue beanie stopped the dog from puncturing his skull (Pictures: SWNS)
A toddler’s woolly hat saved him from being mauled to death by a dog that ripped off a chunk of his scalp.
Paul-Naylass Passmore was walking to nursery with his mum Courtney Jones and sister Evelyn-Rose, when an American Akita ran out of a nearby flat and attacked him on March 22.
The dog began biting his head, pulling off a huge piece of flesh covering almost the entire left side.
Paul-Naylass dropped to the floor to protect himself but the dog gripped into his lower back, lifted him up and shook him from side to side.
Dad James Passmore said: ‘He was screaming in pain. The dog went to bite the top of his head but couldn’t get a grip so pulled his hat off and pulled off part of his scalp.’
Courtney pulled her son away from the dog and dragged him back to the flat. She then had to go back for her three-year-old daughter who had also been walking with them.
As an ambulance rushed Paul-Naylass to hospital, James rushed back from his bike ride.
The dog ripped a huge piece of Paul-Naylass’s scalp out (Picture: SWNS)
Paul-Naylass was in hospital for four days while doctors reattached his scalp and gave him a skin graft (Picture: SWNS)
He said: ‘I was trying to get back as fast as possible, panicking all the way. By the time I got back the police were there.
‘I was in absolute shock to be honest, as I didn’t know what the full extent of his injuries were and whose dog had done it and how.’
His neighbours in Wombourne, Staffordshire, then showed him the piece of flesh the dog had left on the pavement.
He put the skin in a pink lunch box filled with ice and raced to the hospital.
The toddler was at Birmingham Children’s Hospital for four days, while he had surgery to reattach his scalp, as well as a skin graft.
He was also treated for puncture wounds in his lower back.
Nurses told the family that Paul-Naylass could have faced years of surgeries if his skull had been punctured.
His parents believe the dog would have punctured their son’s skull if he had not been wearing his blue, knitted beanie.
‘That’s what saved him,’ said James.
Staffordshire Police said: ‘The dog, which was unknown to the child and his parents, was secured by officers at the scene and the owner later agreed for the animal to be seized.’
Paul Naylass is now back home with his family who believe his knitted, blue beanie saved him (Picture: SWNS)
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA), it is illegal for a dog to be ‘out of control’ and hurt humans or other animals.
Owners of dogs who are dangerously out of control in public places can be prosecuted and sentenced to up to three years in jail, disallowed from owning pets, and forced to have their dog destroyed.
The DDA bans breeds that are traditionally bred for fighting. This does not include Akitas, the type of dog that attacked Paul-Naylass.
‘The nurses at the hospital said most dog attacks happen with this kind of dog,’ James added.
The RSPCA believes the Dangerous Dogs Act should not include breed specific legislation because ‘whether or not a dog is aggressive can be influenced by factors such as how they are bred and reared and experiences throughout their life’.
The organisation said: ‘Breed is not a good predictor of risk of aggression. And, despite the legislation, dog bites in the UK continue to increase.’
The RSPCA argues that behavioural solutions and education would be more effective in curbing dog bites.
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