8 year old attacked by dog

Jonathan Harwood Credit: ITV

An eight-year-old boy from Marsden is recovering from a traumatic dog attack which has left him badly injured.

Jonathan Harwood was playing with a neighbour's new Staffordshire bull terrier when it leapt at his face and pinned him to the ground.

"He was stroking the dog and it growled a bit so I actually moved Jonathan out the way and then, as he turned, the dog just lept up to his face and pushed him down on the floor and that's when I reacted and grabbed the dog and threw it."

Jonathan is still too traumatised to go home, where the family friend's former rescue dog pounced and mauled his face. His ten year old sister Rosie was also nearby at the time.

"I was helping in the kitchen and then all I heard was screaming and I rushed in the room and saw my little brother covered in blood."

The bites were so deep, Jonathan spent two nights in hospital in Newcastle. Until gets skin grafts and dental repair work, he won't be able to go to school, speak properly and he can only eat a few cold foods including spaghetti, bread without the crusts, ice cream, marshmallows and soup.

Jonathan is living at his grandmother's house in South Shields because he is too scared to go back home.

The dog which bit him has been destroyed and Jonathan's family has also given up their own pet poodle to new owners.

"I think if I hadn't reacted as quick as I had, who knows what might have happened?" said his mother. "I'm actually petrified of dogs now, every time I see a dog it brings back what I've seen and what happened to Jonathan."

Jonathan hasn't been able to look at his face since the attack.