A dog breeder had his arm “ripped apart” after being savaged by two powerful American bulldogs as he walked them near his home.
Stephen Potts, 47, lay screaming for help as shocked eyewitnesses fought to pull the dogs off him with golf clubs, spades and umbrellas.
Several drove cars at the huge, “ferocious” animals as they dragged their owner along a road, blood pouring from horrific injuries to his right arm, neck and body.
The dogs tore at him with such ferocity that he would have died but for the swift intervention of neighbours who are being offered trauma counselling.
Surgeons face a battle to save Mr Potts’ right arm, which was so badly bitten that bone and muscle were visible.
The dogs had apparently been spooked by fireworks as Mr Potts was walking them at 9.10pm on Sunday.
He was around a mile from his home in Low Pittington, Co Durham, and had reached the nearby upmarket Priors Grange estate.
Mum-of-one Alison Metcalf was at home when her husband Graham, a 56-year old garage owner went out to walk their saluki rescue dog, Katy.
Mrs Metcalf, 55, said: “My husband came running in carrying our dog. He flung the door open and threw her inside and then ran back out.
“He wasn’t very coherent but I heard him say ‘he’s lying in the road’.
“I followed and then saw Stephen Potts lying in the middle of the road.
“He was covered in blood and the two bulldogs were in a frenzy. They were gnawing and biting at him and pulling him around.
“They were so strong they were dragging him along the road and he just couldn’t get away.
“I saw his arm, it was bitten down to the muscle and bone, the injuries were absolutely dreadful.”
North News & PicturesHorror: The scene of the serious dog attack in Priors Grange
“People could hear him screaming and began running out of their houses, they risked being attacked themselves but we were sure he’d be killed if it continued.
“People had golf clubs and umbrellas and were beating the dogs but nothing would stop them they just carried on the attack, they barely seemed to notice the blows.
Another witness said: “I’ve never seen something so vicious and brutal in my life.
“I saw blood and his arm was torn off, his clothes were torn or pulled off and he was just squirming about screaming for help and eventually it looked as if he just gave up.
Mr Potts, in very severe shock, was tended to by a doctor and a nurse who live nearby, and is in intensive care at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
A male relative in his 20’s at the family home said: “He still hasn’t regained consciousness. His arm is very badly injured but he hasn’t lost it.