Warning: This article contains a graphic image of a facial injuries.
A shocking image of the injuries sustained by a three-year-old boy who was mauled by a dog has been released by his family.
His family have allowed a photo of his injuries to be shared to raise awareness of the danger posed by dog attacks and to help police track down the stray.
Neighbourhood Inspector Georgie Minnery, from Merseyside Police said: "As you can see from the pictures, this was a particularly nasty bite on a little boy who was just walking with his dad.
"Residents should be able to feel safe in the community and as such we treat all incidents of this nature very seriously."
Emergency services were called to the scene of the attack, a footpath between Noctorum Avenue and the Woodchurch Estate, at around 2.30pm and the boy was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery.
He is still undergoing treatment for the injuries to his face.
"We are carrying out a number of enquiries in the area to try and trace this dog, and its owner (if it has one)," Inspector Minnery added.
Police urge anyone who has any information about the incident to contact 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.