A woman has spoken of her horror after she was savaged by a dog.
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.
Abbie, of Brafferton Street, Hartlepool, claims it took about 20 minutes to get the dog off.
She was rushed to hospital where she underwent immediate surgery.
The dog responsible has been seized by police who are making inquiries.
The incident happened on Sunday, July 30, when Abbie was a visitor at a house close to her home.
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.”
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 when she was given a skin graft and stitches.
Abbie remained in hospital for three days and currently 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.”
Abbie has to return to hospital for regular check ups to make sure the wound does not become infected.
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 understood to be the owner of the dog responsible, said he was unable to comment while the incident is under investigation.