Boy's scalp found on living room floor after savage attack by dog bought on Facebook

Vick Zidko had to have part of his skull reattached after being attacked by his family's new dog
Vick Zidko had to have part of his skull reattached after being attacked by his family's new dog -Credit:Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror

A seven-year-old boy had to have part of his scalp reattached after being savaged by a dog his family bought on Facebook. Vick Zidko was left with life-changing injuries after the horror attack by the recently-acquired canine last May.

The terrified schoolboy needed extensive surgery to replace a chunk of scalp that was found on the living room floor. And a year on from the horrific incident at their home in Doncaster, Vick is still undergoing operations.

Following the ordeal, South Yorkshire Police have cautioned against acquiring dogs through social media ads. The Zidko family, who had welcomed the dog into their home just a fortnight before the attack, are now advocating for government regulation of online pet sales.

Vick's mother Eugenija spoke with The Mirror, who have an ongoing campaign against dangerous dogs, about the ongoing "nightmares" the family face as her "remarkable" son faces the prospect of further surgery.

The mum, who has tended to our son's wounds since that fateful day, said: "I still have nightmares about it where I can see the attack happening all over again and his terrible injuries.

His father, Vitalijus, 43, said: "It has been quite stressful. We are looking at another operation to stretch the skin over the skull.‌ They want to stretch the skin to remove part of it and put it back together closer."‌

Vitalijus said that his "brave" son is "totally fine" apart from developing an understandable fear of big dogs. He added: "It was a nightmare after the incident as he couldn't go out last summer to play due to his injuries. Other children kept trying to look at it and touch it.

Vick and his sister Gabrielle, who helped stop the dog attack
Vick and his sister Gabrielle, who helped stop the dog attack -Credit:Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror

"Now it's much better and his school has been really supportive and looked after him. But he's still scared of dogs - as soon as he sees one, he hides behind his mum or me."

The dad is calling on the UK Government to tighten regulations on online dog sales. Vitalijus said: "I want to see them get strict on selling on social media and have an official moderated and regulated website, where people can sell them but with rules.

"I don't want anybody to go through the nightmare we went through. There should be an official website where it is easier for people to find dogs from approved sellers or at least genuine sellers. Sadly, people are still buying dogs through Facebook."

Vick is still having surgery a year on from the attack
Vick is still having surgery a year on from the attack -Credit:Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror

The family bought Diesel, who they thought was an American Staffie, for £200 from Facebook. There had been no sign of any aggression before Vick was attacked at his family home in the Highfields area.

The family had just returned from a shopping trip and had given Diesel a rawhide bone treat, which he was chewing on when Vick came down the stairs quietly.The dog unexpectedly attacked the lad, who was six at the time, while he was on the stairs.

His older sister, Gabriel, 19, tried to pull the dog away but struggled until their father intervened. He bravely put his hand in the dog's mouth to protect his son, leaving him needing hospital treatment.

Terrified Vick turned to Eugenija and said: "Mummy, am I dying?" He spent five days in hospital as doctors tried to reattach his skull, which had initially been covered for protection.

Vitalijus Zidko with Diesel, who was bought on Facebook
Vitalijus Zidko with Diesel, who was bought on Facebook -Credit:Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror

The piece of his scalp was taken to hospital with a bag of frozen chips after a cop almost stepped on it in the living room. Eugenija, 43, said: "The doctors could not believe how Vick just kept smiling all the way through. And he's still smiling now."

She credits her son's incredible resilience for keeping her going, adding: "After it happened I felt so depressed because I felt so terrible. Too many people said it was our fault because we took a big dog into our family.

"But nobody was expecting him to ever show any aggression. He'd shown none whatsoever before then. We are both now really scared of big dogs. A couple of weeks ago he said 'Can you buy a really small doggy?'"

But his dad has ruled that out, adding; "I still think about it. When you see it in real life it was so bad. It looked scary and terrible. I'm totally proud of my son and how he dealt with it."

Eugenija has urged other families to be aware of the dangers of buying dogs online. She said: "I would say make sure you visit those people a few times before you buy and find out the history of the dog.

"They should try and see family pictures with that dog, more information. I cannot bear the thought of another family going through this."

Diesel was taken away by police and was put down a few weeks after the attack.

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