Mother of boy in rottweiler attack issues warning to dog owners

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The Independent Online

The mother of a boy who survived being mauled by a rottweiler has urged owners of potentially aggressive dogs not to underestimate their power.

Two-year-old Harvey Lawrence suffered deep wounds to his face and body after being attacked at the home of his grandmother, Gwendoline Lawrence, in Middleton-on-Sea, West Sussex, on Tuesday.

Doctors at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester said the boy was making a good recovery but would remain in hospital for a few days to guard against infection. A spokesman said: "He has been through a terrible ordeal. The physical injuries will mend and we are considering what specialist treatment he will receive to help him psychologically."

The boy's mother, Clare Carey, a childcare manger, said: "Harvey is a very brave little boy. He is moving around and is showing an interest in the things that he loves, so I'm feeling very positive." Ms Carey, 32, said: "It was sheer luck and the quick thinking of the neighbour that Harvey is still with us." She said muzzling rottweilers would be a positive move. "If you have got this type of dog then fully understand the behaviour, the history and don't underestimate their power and strength." She said a rottweiler needed "careful handling" and added: "You wouldn't sell a lion to anyone."

The rottweiler attacked with such force that Mrs Lawrence was unable to fight it off alone. It had been tethered but lunged at Harvey after he stepped out of Mrs Lawrence's car as they returned home for lunch.

A neighbour, Mike Pepper, 66, had to hit the dog over the head with a hammer before he could rescue the child. The rottweiler has since been put down. The attack on Harvey came three days after five-month-old Cadey-Lee Deacon was mauled to death by two rottweilers in Leicester.