On Christmas Eve last year, Tracy Fain heard what no mother ever wishes to hear - the screams of her seven-year-old son, Ethan.
Ethan was playing outside with his dog - as he always did - when he was suddenly attacked by the neighbour’s pitbull, dragging him over the fence that separated the neighbouring yards.
“I want to begin by saying I’ve always been a ‘dog person’,” reads the blog post that Tracy wrote in the weeks after the horrific attack.
“It is not my intention to instil undue fear through the sharing of my family’s story, as I’m very much aware of the joy pets can add to a home.
"It is, however, my hope that our experience will inspire parents and dog owners to exercise great caution when kids and dogs mix - no matter how well you know the dog or how comfortable the child is around dogs.”
Tracy described the moment she knew something was wrong with her boy saying:
“A mum knows that haunting sound. The kind of wail that clearly says, ‘this is not just a scrape’ and sends a child up your spine.”
Ethan was found with bite marks on his body, his left ear “hanging off” and the right completely removed.
The seven-year-old has since received over 300 stitches on his face, neck, chest, back, arms and legs, and needed to have his right ear sewn into his stomach in the hopes that it would grow the tissue needed to reattach in the future.
For the next two years Ethan will need reconstructive surgeries and counselling to deal with the panic attacks, anxiety and night terrors he’s experienced since the attack.
The family have started a GoFundMe campaign in order to help with their medical bills and have already received over $11,000 in donations.
Tracy’s blog post served as a warning to parents to always exercise caution when letting their child play with animals.