A DOG was brutally attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier by the River Irwell - leaving the animal close to death.

Bella, a Yorkshire terrier was being walked along Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, by owner Michelle Borkin when she turned to walk along the river and the 'bully breed', which was off its lead, weighed in.

Michelle says Bella was bit in the throat, neck, back and back legs by the 'staffie'.

The victim was placed in intensive care, and Michelle, who has a six-year-old daughter, Jessie, has been left waiting to hear if her internal organs were damaged.

Michelle said: “It was just such a horrific thing to happen, I was in absolute shock and even now, I have an upset tummy and I have the shakes.

“We were walking along the river and saw this big dog come around the corner and it just charged for us.

“I think Bella got in front of my that she could protect me and it grabbed hold of her by the neck and started shaking her around, which I tried to stop.

“The owner was chasing after it, calling its name and tried to punch it to get it to stop, but it had no harness or collar to grab onto.

“When it finally stopped, the owner and his girlfriend just left me on my own with Bella and my daughter, Jessie, who was curled into a ball with her T shirt over her knees.”

The attack left Bella with life-changing injuries, including damaged tissue, known as ‘dead space’ which cannot heal, meaning she must be fed a steady diet of pain killers and antibiotics.

Michelle added: “I hope this kind of thing never happens to anyone again but this is an irresponsible owner with a dangerous dog and it makes me sick to think that these owner might take their dog somewhere else now where children could be at risk.

“Like a lot of people, I struggled financially during the lockdown and the cost of her medical treatment has been so much.

“Jessie has been really upset by what happened and hasn’t quite been able to express herself, and she doesn’t want to go along Dumers Lane again.”

Bella had to have surgery after the incident, which cost £2,000, for which Michelle is currently raising money to pay off.

To donate visit https://justgiving.com/crowdfunding/michelle-borkin