A WOMAN was injured as she desperately tried to shield her pet poodle from being mauled by a stray dog on a Bury retail park.

Pam Baines suffered bites onher left arm and right hand and one of her fingernails was ripped off during the fierce attack by a lone Pit Bull or Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Her two year-old pet, Henry, suffered numerous puncture wounds as well as injuries to its groin and legs.

The poodle was taken to a veterinary surgeon and underwent an operation following the incident which happened at Woodfields Retail Park on Sunday.

Mrs Baines, of Moor Close, Radcliffe, is anxious to trace a brave onlooker who intervened while many other passers-by who witnessed the incident failed to come to her aid.

Police say the dog responsible for the attack has not been found.

Mrs Baines, aged 56, said that if the animal had targeted a young child, the attack could have been fatal.

She said: “What really concerns me is that this dog is still roaming free.”

She added: “My husband Jon and I were walking with our poodle on his lead when this dog, either a Pit Bull or Staff, came out of nowhere and grabbed Henry.

“I immediately picked up Henry and held his head and chest tightly, so most of his injuries were to his legs and groin.”

As she clung to her dog, husband Jon, aged 57, attempted to free Henry from the jaws of the attacking animal.

“My husband eventually ended up on the ground but he managed to force the dog let go.

“He was a bit grazed and bruised as he tried to control the dog.

“As I made my way to our car which was about 50 yards away, the dog broke free, went for Henry again and grabbed him.

“Thankfully, a guy came up and helped us and got the dog off.

“A lot of other people were watching and not helping us at all.

“By this time, I was just hysterical and in a terrible state. The whole attack must have lasted between three and four minutes, but it seemed like an eternity.

“When we drove off, the dog was still charging around the car park. It was on its own and without a collar, but it was covered in blood. Someone must know something about the animal.”

Mrs Baines added: “Henry received multiple puncture wounds in the attack. The groin injury caused a hernia and internal tearing. I went to Fairfield Hospital where staff cleaned me up and made sure I was OK.”

The couple were reunited with their pet when it was allowed home on Tuesday.

Anyone with information about the incident should call police on 101.