Mother of Jack Lis says he 'deserved to live' as she condemns dog owners wanting 'status symbol'

  • Watch the statement from Jack's mother Emma Whitfield in full

The mother of a young boy who was mauled to death in a dog attack has condemned people wanting a "status symbol" animal and claimed the dog's owner "laughed in her face".

Jack Lis, 10, was savaged by an American bully dog - also known as an XL bully - in Caerphilly on November 8, 2021.

The animal, weighing nearly 100 pounds, left the defenceless youngster with "catastrophic and unsurvivable injuries".

Two people were jailed today (10 June) for a total of seven-and-a-half years after admitting to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, causing injury resulting in death.

The mother of Jack Lis said he 'deserved to live more of a life'. Credit: Gwent Police

Outside court, Jack's mother Emma Whitfield clutched a teddy bear as she read her victim impact statement aloud.

She said: "I want to start by saying that no sentence will ever be good enough for Jack or our family.

"The past seven months has been a torture that should never have happened - a torture that we will continue to live with.

"This has been the consequence of people wanting a status symbol. This animal was not a family pet - it was not a cute, cuddly member of the family.

"It was made to be this way, and there was absolutely no intent on anyone calming it, from the moment it was born."

The 100lb dog, called 'Beast', was later shot dead by police.

Ms Whitfield continued: "Brandon Hayden has laughed in my face too many times, trying to sell a dog with the same name two days later, just doors away from me. This has shown absolutely no remorse or respect to Jack.

"Amy Salter - a mother - allowed this dog into her house, knowing full well what it was capable of.

"More needs to be done regarding the law, to prevent these types of owners, and to prevent this situation happening again.

"Far too many people lack the knowledge or understanding of powerful breeds, and this needs to be addressed."

Hundreds of people wore red and carried red balloons for Jack's funeral. Credit: PA Images

Struggling to hold back tears, she said: "I'm without my son - I'm without his smiles; his stories; his presence. Nothing will ever make up for what this has done to our family.

"Jack laughed; he played; he told jokes. He deserved to live more of a life than this.

"I could stand here all day and tell you what Jack meant to us - and still means to us. We will never stop grieving Jack, or loving him. Our love will continue to stay strong.

"So much has been taken from us. Now we must live our life sentence, without such a beautiful boy."