Rescue operation (symbolic image)

Photo: Arno Burgi/ dpa

A dog bit a 13-month-old boy several times in the head in Essen. The child was seriously injured, the Essen police said.

The animal ran towards the little boy late Friday afternoon in front of the main entrance of a dog sports club and suddenly bit him. The child's mother then pounced on the dog, which was unknown to her, and beat him.

The owner, who was also unknown to her, finally called the dog and disappeared together with the animal in a wooded area opposite. The dog could be a Boxer-Molosser mix, police wrote. She called on witnesses to come forward.