Carol singer (11) in hospital after savage attack by Rottweiler
A LITTLE girl was thrown around "like a rag doll" by a Rottweiler in a savage mauling while she sang Christmas carols.
Nine-year-old Lauren Kelly is lucky to be alive.
She suffered horrific neck and arm injuries and was hospitalised after the attack in Longford.
Lauren's mother, Marcella (41), was also injured as she threw herself across her daughter's body to try and protect her from the attacking dog.
Marcella said: "All I could hear was her screaming and being thrown around like a rage doll. We're just so thankful she's alive."
Lauren was with her younger sister and a friend when they came across the dog outside a house in the village of Abbeylara on St Stephen's Day.
The girls had been singing Christmas carols. The dog jumped a fence and attacked the young schoolgirl.
Her six-year-old sister Ciara ran home screaming for their mother to come and help.
"I tried to pull the dog off her by kicking him but he just gripped harder," said Marcella. "The only thing I could do was lie down on top of her to protect her but then it sunk its teeth in my arm."
Shortly afterwards, brothers of the children's friend arrived and managed to control the dog.
Marcella and Lauren were rushed to Mullingar Regional Hospital where Marcella received 12 stitches.
Lauren was transferred to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin the following morning.
The little girl's condition is improving but she is due to have skin graft surgery for her injuries tomorrow.
The dog that attacked Lauren has since been put down.