Toddler patted 'lovely' XL bully dogs just one day before five of them viciously attacked her
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A two-year-old girl had patted a group of ‘lovely’ XL bullies just one day before they mauled her in a vicious attack in her garden.
Sandra Mckevitt was enjoying a picnic and making the most of the ‘really hot’ weather in her back garden of her Liverpool home with her two-year-old niece Ella, and her two young cousins back in May 2016.
As they sat in the sunshine, the family could hear their next door neighbour’s five dogs but didn’t pay any attention as they assumed the pets were harmless.
However, the now 63-year-old recalls the horrific moment that the dogs burst through the fence and launched a terrifying attack.
In an interview with The Liverpool Echo, Sandra said: “We could hear the dogs next door but we didn't really think anything of it, Ella was patting them on the head the day before and they were lovely dogs.
“Next thing I heard this bang and saw one of the dog’s heads through the side of the fence, we were laughing at first but then I saw its eyes - I will never forget them eyes."
Sensing danger, quick-thinking Sandra told Ella’s cousins, who were standing near the back door, to get inside the house - and within seconds the dogs had charged towards little Ella.
"Ella started screaming, they were circling us and one at a time going for her and me. It was literally one at a time, it was like their instincts took over,” she recalled.
“At one point it was tug of war with a baby. They had hold of her by her cheek and I was pulling her legs to get them off her. I fell down at one point and I knew I had to get up to help Ella and to make sure they couldn't get my neck."
The owner of the dogs then appeared through the fence and was able to distract them for long enough for Sandra to scoop up her injured niece and rush inside to safety.
Once inside, paramedics were called and the youngster was airlifted to a nearby hospital where she underwent a gruelling nine-hour surgery.
Sandra said the youngster was unrecognisable and was ‘swollen’ with ‘stitches everywhere’.
She went on: “Her cheek was hanging off, you could see her scalp, there were cuts near her eye.”
Police visited the neighbour who found 18 XL bullies on the property - four of them were destroyed by authorities.
Following the horrific ordeal, Ella was left with both physical and emotional scars and was initially terrified of dogs.
Now aged nine, Ella has managed to overcome her fear and even has a pet French bulldog, while the scars on her face are also healing.
Sandra says that hearing about dog attacks ‘takes her back’ but insists the owners are to blame. "Every time I hear someone has been attacked, by any breed, I just go cold,” she said.
“It just takes me back to that day and I hope those involved are okay and recover from it. In my opinion, I think it's down to the owner of the dog. If it's treated badly, what do you think it's going to do?"