THE mother of baby Dennie Dolan who had his finger bitten off by a fox has told how the animal saw her son ‘as a piece of 10lb chicken to eat’.

Hayley Cawley, 28, kicked and hit the fox as it tried to pull her screaming son from the family home in Downham.

Ms Cawley had left the five-week-old boy propped up on a sofa after his feed and went upstairs to tidy up but came running back downstairs when she heard screaming.

She told The Sun: “The fox had Dennie’s left hand in its jaws. Dennie’s head was covered in blood and it was running down his cheeks.

“His head was lodged in the corner of the door frame and the fox couldn’t get him out of the door.

“I kicked it hard but it wouldn’t let go. I was scared it would sink its teeth in even further so I lashed out at it with my hand and kept hitting it.

“I was screaming, ‘Help me!’ I got hold of Dennie’s wrist and I tore it out of the fox’s mouth.

“If I’d got there a few seconds later my baby would have been out of the door and I might never have seen him again.

“The fox would have found a way of getting him out of that door.

"It saw Dennie as a 10lb piece of chicken to eat.”

She says she thought her baby was going to die because there was so much blood.

In the ambulance on the way to the trauma unit at King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill she says they showed her his ring finger had turned blue and was almost severed.

News Shopper: Dennie's parents Paul Dolan and Hayley Cawley

He was transferred to Evelina Children’s Hospital for surgery where Ms Cawley and her partner Paul Dolan (pictured above) endured an agonising five-hour wait while surgeons tried to save their son’s finger.

The fox grabbed him after it got in through the front door of the family home in Dagonet Road.

Mr Dolan had left earlier to collect older children Ellouise, nine, and five-year-old Lee from school and had slammed the door shut behind him.

But Ms Cawley believes the latch did not catch properly so the fox was able to get into the house.

Too scared to return home

The family is now said to be too scared to return to their home and are currently in temporary housing and Ms Cawley says she will never go back to the old house.

And she says foxes are constantly prowling the area.

She said: “There are always foxes hanging around there, even during the day because people keep dumping rubbish on the green.

“I’ve seen pieces of raw meat left out on the ground where people have dumped their waste.

“I used to be one of those who says foxes are harmless wild animals that are more frightened of us than we are of them.

“Now I think something should be done to get rid of foxes around people’s houses. “If a dog had done this it would have been destroyed.

“But that fox is still out there and could do this again. I’d hate this to happen to another child.”