A MOTHER has told of the horrifying moment she saw her toddler daughter had been mutilated by the family's four puppies.
Little Felicity, two, had her ear chewed off, her eye was gouged and her face was left covered in hundreds of deep scratches.
Mom Michele Peden, 30, said she blamed herself for the horror at the family home in California.
She and husband Michael adopted the Queensland labrador puppies – called Amarah, Negan, Gideon and Keerah – last month after moving to a new house with a big yard.
On June 3, she popped out to go shopping and left Michael to look after their four kids Samantha, 13, Daisy, 11, Felicity, two and Daryl, one.
Minutes later she got a call saying Michael was racing Felicity to hospital as she was covered in blood and looked like she may have lost an eye.
No one saw the mauling, which happened while the dad was working in the yard and the older sisters were inside with the baby.
Michele followed them to hospital and was horrified to see Felicity unconscious with deep gashes and bloody scratches all over her face.
She said: “They had eaten her ear and mutilated her face, neck and upper body.
“All I could smell was puppy slobber all over her head, which made me want to cry and I felt sick to my stomach.
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“She was missing her hair and was covered in bandages and gauze.
“There were stitches in multiple places, including her lip, neck and throat.
"I cried, my heart was broken and I felt like I was going to pass out – the feeling of not being able to do anything to help my baby was overwhelming.
"I blamed myself and the guilt of not seeing the signs was overwhelming.
“At the time, I had no other information but I concluded that the only thing in the backyard that could have caused that kind of damage was the puppies."
Felicity was then flown to a specialist hospital in Fresno.
Her mother added: “After three hours of plastic surgery, they were unable to save much of her ear – except for her earlobe and inner ear.
“Medics informed us she had muscle damage to her face, arms and legs, where she will need many surgeries in the near future.
“I wanted to hold her but we couldn’t as we were told her neck injuries were too severe.
“Before the incident, she was full of joy, smiles and mischief, but initially we were worried she would be left with a different future ahead of her."
The nightmare continued as doctors said her kidneys were failing and her body was beginning to shut down from the trauma.
Fortunately she pulled through and is now said to be making a good recovery, although she faces many more ops in years to come.
When she is seven docs will remove a rib to construct a new ear.
Felicity's gran has started a GoFundMe appeal to help pay her mounting hospital bills.
The family shared news of their ordeal to raise awareness among dog owners.
Their four 12-week-old pups have been sent to a shelter to be rehomed.
It is hoped they will not pose a future threat if they are separated, but face being out down if they can't be trained.
Michele said: "In the three weeks we had the puppies, they showed no signs that they could become aggressive.
"I would never have left Felicity alone with them [if they had].
"We accept full responsibility and accountability for this tragedy – but are incredibly grateful to all who have extended their love and prayers of support.
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"She's now doing great and will be in therapy to help her learn how to cope.
“Our Felicity is a strong, resilient angel who will overcome all she has endured and we hope the trauma will be forgotten overtime as she heals.”
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