A woolen hat on a toddler’s head saved him from being mauled to death by a dog which ripped off a chunk of his scalp. 

Two-year-old Paul-Naylass Passmore was on his way to nursery with his mother Courtney Jones and sister Evelyn-Rose, when a huge dog ran out of a nearby flat and attacked him on March 22. The incident happened in a Wombourne neighborhood of South Staffordshire, England. 

The American Akita clamped its jaws around the toddler’s head and pulled off a huge piece of flesh from his scalp and spit it on the ground.

The baby dropped down to protect himself, but the angry canine bit into his lower back. The massive dog picked the child by its teeth and shook him rigorously like a chew toy.

"He was screaming in pain. The dog went to bite the top of his head but couldn’t get a grip so pulled his hat off and pulled off part of his scalp," the child’s father, James Passmore said, the MetroUK reported.

The shocked mother acted instinctively and pulled her baby boy away from the dog. The toddler was bleeding heavily while his mother rushed him back to their apartment. 

She then came back for her three-year-old daughter to get her to safety. The girl was reported to be unharmed.

The toddler was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. His father rushed back from his bike ride and raced after them with the discarded piece of the scalp which he had contained in an ice-filled kids’ lunchbox. 

"I was trying to get back as fast as possible, panicking all the way. By the time I got back the police were there," James said. 

"I was in absolute shock to be honest, as I didn’t know what the full extent of his injuries were and whose dog had done it and how," he added.

The child stayed at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital for four days, during which he underwent surgery where doctors reattached his scalp, as well as a skin graft.

The toddler was also treated for puncture wounds on his lower back.  

According to the medical staff, the baby could have faced years of surgeries if the dog had punctured his skull.  

His parents believe, the injuries could have been fatal if he had not been wearing his blue, knitted beanie.  

"Luckily for my son it was the easier option in the end, there was no major damage it was just skin damage, but it doesn't make it right," said James.  

"We believe because he had his woolly hat on, that's what saved him," the father added.

As stated under the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA), an incident where a dog goes "out of control" and attack humans or other animals is considered illegal and offensable. 

"The dog, which was unknown to the child and his parents, was secured by officers at the scene and the owner later agreed for the animal to be seized," a spokesperson for Staffordshire Police said.

The child is expected to recover soon from his injuries.

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