A 10-year-old boy has been attacked and badly injured by a police dog while playing in his grandmother's back garden.
Tom Cutbill was bitten up to three times by the animal on Sunday afternoon during a police search for metal thieves in the Oldbury area of Sandwell in the West Midlands.
The dog, on a leash with its handler, entered the private back garden where the boy was playing during the pursuit.
The German Shepherd cross mauled the boy's right leg. Tom required two hospital operations and is now recovering at the family home in Rowley Regis.
The boy's father expressed his disgust and shock at what had happened.
Martin Cutbill, 40, a warehouse manager, told Sky News: "I am disgusted and want to know how this was allowed to happen. I am shocked and amazed.
"My son has gone through a terrible time. He is only recently out of hospital, starting to take his first steps on crutches. It happened on Sunday afternoon.
"There were quite a few puncture wounds and tears to his skin. We haven't heard much from the police."
The child's grandmother is reported to have witnessed the attack, telling local newspaper the Express and Star that it was "like a horror movie".
West Midlands Police issued an unreserved apology to the child and his family.
The force has informed the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and is carrying out its own investigation into how the boy came by the serious injuries while the dog, a German Shepherd-Belgian Malinois cross, was on a leash.
The dog's handler had been sent to support fellow officers who were searching an area near Western Road for four men seen running away from a quantity of copper wiring.
Chief Inspector Ian Marsh said: "This poor young boy has gone through an absolutely horrendous ordeal and my thoughts are with him and his family as he recovers from his injuries.
"We apologise unreservedly for what has happened and have launched an investigation to fully understand exactly how an innocent young lad came to be bitten by a police dog in the safety of his own back garden.
"Police dogs and their handlers receive intensive training and play crucial roles in the arrest of suspects day in, day out, but on the very rare occasions where things go wrong, it's vital we understand why and learn the lessons to ensure it doesn't happen again."
The officer and the dog involved continue to carry out regular duties after an initial independent assessment.