A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy needed reconstructive surgery after being mauled by a dog in Winsford last Wednesday.

Little Declen Joynson’s lip was left hanging by a thread after being savaged by a border collie outside John Moors convenience store in Wharton Road.

The collie and a golden retriever were tethered to a post outside the shop door when mum Sarah White, 25, called in to by some sweets for Declen and baby brother Lewis at around 3.20pm.

Sarah, who lives in Bradbury Road, said: “I turned to pay and the lads headed towards the door. I heard a man in the shop shout, ‘keep the kids away from the dogs’ but it was too late, it had already gone for Declen.

“I turned round the dog was on top of him with Declen face down on the floor. There was blood everywhere, it was pouring from his face. I couldn’t see how much damage had been done because of all the blood.

“I was hysterical, Lewis was hysterical, he saw the whole thing. Declen’s friend, another little boy, saw it too and he’s not been able to go into school since because he can’t stop screaming and crying.

“And Lewis isn’t even two yet, if it had been him, he wouldn’t have stood a chance.”

Declen was rushed to Leighton Hospital then transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool where he underwent internal and external reconstructive surgery on his mouth and face.

The brave youngster, who attends Smallworlds Pre-School in Leaf Lane, was finally allowed home on Friday but has been left deeply traumatised by his ordeal.

Sarah said: “Before this he was bubbly and active. He was into everything and loved his bike but since this he’s been withdrawn and if anyone mentions it, he covers his ears.

“He’s petrified of our dogs now so we are going to have to get them rehomed and Declen is staying with his granddad until we can. We love them to bits but the children come first.”

It will be another year before the full extent of the scarring is known, and dad Gareth Joynson, 27, has joined Sarah in calling for the dog to be destroyed, rather than simply placed on a dog bite register.

He said: “We’re fuming, absolutely fuming and disgusted that they haven’t had the dog put down.

“My son’s face had to be reconstructed, is that not enough? The police refuse to destroy it so now it’s out there and has to attack for a second time before anything can be done, it’s not good enough.”

PC Shelly Williams, spokesman for Cheshire Police, said: "Police attended immediately after the incident and the dog owner and parents of the four year old child were both spoken to at length by officers.

“The circumstances are that the dog was on a leash tied up outside the store and unfortunately the child was bitten by the dog when he approached it.

“We understand that the child had been left unattended whilst his mother went into the store. The owner was spoken to by officers and as per force policy an entry has been made on the Dog Bite register, furthermore the owner volunteered to muzzle the dog in the future."