A dad from Cambridgeshire described his pet Staffordshire bull terriers as his “babies” months before one of them allegedly mauled his newborn son, a neighbour has said.
Dan McNulty reportedly made the remark to a neighbour shortly before his partner Amy Litchfield, gave birth to their little boy.
The baby, less than one month old, has been left 'in a bad way' after being allegedly attacked by one of the dogs, Fizz and Dotty.
According to police, two people, aged 28 and 31, have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect and released on bail.
The neighbour, who wants to remain anonymous, told the Mirror : “When Amy was pregnant I said to Dan, What are you going to do about the dogs?. He told me, The dogs are our babies.”
Yesterday, Amy's dad, Paul Litchfield visited the unemployed couple's home where the attack allegedly happened in the village of Yaxley, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
He insisted that the newborn child had been injured in a freak accident and that both Amy and Dan were good parents.
Her dad Paul said the staffys were “docile”, adding: “They have never been dangerous before.”
Amy has posted scores of photos of her dogs on Facebook.
Speaking from the £160,000 two-bedroom flat, Mr Litchfield said: "They're not going to be here for months now because that kid is not good bless him.
"Even the parents are in a bad way.
"At the end of the day it's just a big freak accident and everyone's making a big thing of it.
"They've done nothing wrong and the way it's being portrayed at the minute, they're horrible parents.
"They bloody aren't, they've been fantastic.
"If they were horrible parents they wouldn't be sitting with that young lad now.
"People need to realise there's always two sides to the story.
"The thing is there's a lot at stake here for everybody, not just them, for us as well, as family."
Paramedics were called to the family's home after the attack, which happened at around 1.47am on Sunday.
The baby is being treated at Addenbrooke's Hospital.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: "We were called by the ambulance service at 1.47am on Sunday, November 18 to an address in Wykes Road, Yaxley, with reports of concern for baby boy who had been attacked by a dog.
"Officers and paramedics attended the scene and the baby was taken to Peterborough City Hospital before being transferred to Addenbrookes Hospital, in Cambridge, with life-threatening injuries.
"He remains in a critical condition.
"A 28-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man, both from Yaxley, were arrested on suspicion of child neglect and have been bailed until 15 December.
"Two dogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, were taken from the property and are in police kennels. Police remain at the scene and an investigation has been launched."