A teenager 'could have been killed' in a vicious dog attack where a pitbull 'ripped half his face off', says his mother.
Distressed Tamara Doonkeen, from Alaska, said her 15-year-old son was attacked by a 'vicious' dog when he walked with two friends.
The boy was in the street with his pals on Monday when the attack happened.
It left the teenager needing urgent hospital treatment for injuries to his face.
Tamara fears the dog will attack again and is urging the pet owner to come forward.
She warned if the dog attacks a smaller child that it could be deadly, writes KOCO 5.
Tamara said: "It got his face, completely ripped his right side of his face off.
"We need the dog surrended. We need to prevent this from happening again.
"If this would've been a smaller child, they wouldn't have survived. If it would've got my son's throat, he wouldn't have survived."
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Pitbulls are a banned breed of dog in some cities in several US states, including Michigan, Ohio, Missouri and Iowa, but not Alaska.
Tamara said her son distracted the dog away from his two female friends.
She said the dog went after the girls first but he sacrificed himself instead.
The girls were able to run home to get help before the teen was rushed to hospital.
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He underwent intensive reconstructive surgery following the attack.
Tamara says her son may unfortunately lose some feeling in his face for life, but stressed they won't know until later on his recovery.
Yukon police in Alaska are investigating the incident, and say the dog was described as black and pit-like with a green or blue collar.
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They said if the animal has an owner, they could face charges for harbouring and failing to restrain a vicious animal.
Cops asked people in the local area to remain vigilant following the attack.
Tamara added: "It's been a nightmare to say the least. It's obviously vicious and, if it hasn't done this before, it's going to do it again.
"And I just hope that if this done belong to somebody, they will take responsibility."
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