A young mum who almost lost a leg in a twenty-minute mauling by an American Bulldog has described the pain as “worse than labour”.
Abbie Atkinson, a mum-of-two, says she was lucky not to lose her right leg after an American bulldog clamped its jaws on to her.
According to Abbie the ferocious attack lasted around twenty minutes as the out of control dog shook her around the garden by her leg like a rag doll.
She was rushed to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where she underwent immediate surgery.
She said: “I was in the back garden having a cigarette and the dog jumped up at my face.
“I tapped her on the nose and told her ‘no’.
As I’ve turned round to go back in the house she latched on to the back of my leg.
“She shook me around the back garden like a rag doll. I screamed for help.
“The pain was worse than labour.
“I remember feeling my muscles ripping, it was horrible. I’m lucky to still have my leg.”
The American Bulldog, which is not classed as a dangerous breed, has now been seized by police, who are making inquiries.
The attack happened on Sunday, July 30, when Abbie was visiting a house near her home.
Abbie said it was “a good 20 minutes” before the animal released her.
She was given gas and air before being taken straight through to theatre for surgery, where she was given a skin graft and stitches.
Abbie was in hospital for three days and now has to rely on crutches and a wheelchair to get around.
She added: “I can’t walk properly on it yet.
“I don’t know how long it is going to take to heal.
“I have to get people to push me about in a wheelchair. It is still quite painful.It has me in tears some days.”
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “We received a report of a 24-year-old woman who had been attacked by a dog on Sunday 30th July at 11.15am on Duke Street in Hartlepool.
“As a result of the attack, the woman suffered facial and leg injuries and received treatment at James Cook University Hospital.
“Officers have seized the dog believed to be responsible and enquiries are ongoing.”
A man at the address where the attack took place and who is believed to be the owner of the dog responsible, declined to comment while the incident is under investigation.