#parent | #kids | Parents of boy, 4, killed in dog attack back campaign on dangerous canines


The mother and father of a four-year-old boy, who died from a dog attack in 2009, have spoken out after hearing another child was tragically killed by a dog this week. John-Paul Massey’s parents say they do not want another child to die in the same horrific way.

Angela McGlynn and John Massey are both backing a national campaign by The Mirror to change the law. They have spoken about the overwhelming grief they still feel after their son was mauled to death.

The parents made the choice to speak out after hearing that another child – three-year-old Daniel Twigg – was killed by a dog on Sunday. John-Paul’s mum Angela McGlynn, 51, said: “When I see other children have been attacked, it breaks my heart. I don’t want anyone else to have to live my life.

“It’s horrific. He was a special boy, I’ve been robbed of an angel.”

Angela and the boy’s dad John Massey split after the tragedy but are united in wanting the Government to take urgent action. Former painter and decorator John, 50, said he has daily flashbacks of his little boy lying dead.

In tears, John added: “I thought my son… was taken for a reason – that it would be the end of these dog attacks. But they keep happening.

“Seeing there is another one, it’s shocking and never-ending. I feel for the family so much. I’m scared it will destroy them, like it’s ruined me. I don’t want them to go through what I have.

“Every day I go to the cemetery, I just want to stay there lying next to [John-Paul]. I just want to die to be with him. The sooner the better.

“If it wasn’t for my girls I wouldn’t be here today. They keep me alive.”

John, who has two daughters in their mid-20s from a different relationship, is also desperate for a change in the law. Backing the Mirror’s call for action, he said: “There are too many loopholes.”

But he fears nothing will ever change as there have been 38 other dog bite deaths since his son was killed. John-Paul was at his gran’s home in Wavertree, Liverpool, in 2009 when he was killed by a pitbull owned by his uncle Christian Foulkes, who had recently left the city to join the Army, leaving the pet with his mum.

The dog attacked after John-Paul was given a crisp, inflicting 74 injuries to the boy’s head and neck. Foulkes, then aged 22, served eight weeks in jail after admitting owning an illegal breed of dog.

John-Paul’s mum, who is Foulkes’ sister, thinks the Dangerous Dogs Act needs to be expanded and should include mixed breeds too. Angela added they didn’t know the killer dog was part-pitbull until its postmortem.

The mum-of-two said: “We thought [he] was a pedigree American bulldog. We discovered he was 10% pitbull after he was put down.

John-Paul Massey was mauled to death

“People selling dogs need to be Kennel Club-registered or have a pet shop licence.” She added some people “are lying” about the dogs they sell. She also thinks a full DNA test should be provided to those buying dogs to prove they are getting pure pedigrees.

Angela said: “There needs to be a huge crackdown on illegal breeding. Each breed of dog has a different temperament, and people are mixing two or more personality types together and they are creating monsters.”

Angela began a campaign shortly after John-Paul’s death to try to tighten dangerous dog controls and for all dogs to be muzzled around children under 12. But she has not actively campaigned in the past five years because she felt nothing had changed.

Speaking about her son, Angela, from Woolton, Liverpool, said: “I miss him so much. I’ve got photos of him everywhere and I can still hear his voice.

“He used to hug you so tightly, it felt like you were being strangled. He’d plant a big kiss on you and I can still feel that.”

John-Paul’s dad, also from Liverpool, said: “Me and Angela split because of what happened, because it was her brother’s dog. But she’s going through what I’m going through.”

John added little has changed for him since the attack. He said: “I live with what happened to John-Paul every day.

“I’m a hamster on a wheel. I close my eyes and I see him laid down in the condition we had to view him in, with bandages head to toe. I’m not the man I used to be.”

He said he and Angela went for a meal on the night their son was killed. John added: “He was happy to be left with his nan. You always think they are going to be safe with their grandmother.

“In the early hours we got a knock at the door. They didn’t tell us then that he died, but took us to hospital. I fell to bits when we were told.”





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