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from The Telegraph

136 stitches for boy attacked by rottweiler
By Sean O'Neill

Wednesday, August 4 1999

A ROTTWEILER which had been left untethered while its owners were abroad has savaged a four-year-old boy.

Joe Pritchard was recovering in hospital yesterday after having 136 stitches to head and face wounds. The animal, named Ben, escaped from the garden of a house at Caerphilly, South Wales, and attacked the boy as he played in the street. Nigel and Rosemary John, the dog's owners, had asked neighbours to feed it while they were in Turkey for a fortnight's holiday.

Megan Owen, 49, a neighbour, said: "Joe was chatting happily to his friend when all of a sudden I heard him scream. I saw him running towards me, his arms flapping and his face covered in blood." Mrs Owen took Joe into her house and alerted his mother, Edwina Pritchard, who called an ambulance.

Mrs Owen said: "I helped clean Joe up and tried to calm his mother. He had teeth marks and gashes all over his head and blood was streaming from his cheeks."

Stephen Morris, 43, another neighbour, said: "They should never have left that dog alone. It is a nasty bit of work and has got out in the past. I rang the police just an hour before this happened because the dog had got out. But they told me they did not have the resources to come and round it up."

The dog is in a police pound and its fate will be decided when its owners return.

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