A pensioner was left needing emergency surgery after being bitten by large a dog while walking home with her shopping.
The 67-year-old woman was subjected to the terrifying attack after after attempting to stroke the dog in Lord Street, Fleetwood close to the port’s Asda store.
The dog, called ‘Cracker’, believed to be a Husky or Akita type dog, has now been seized and put down, police said.
The episode has been labelled ‘frightening’ and led to calls for more to be done to tackle dangerous dogs.
The dog, described by police as ‘fluffy, with white and cream fur and a large face’, was being walked on its lead at around 9pm on Friday.
Officers said it attacked the woman’s right forearm after she mistook it for a neighbour’s dog and reached to pet it. Pictures of the injuries were to graphic to print.
The victim was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital before being transferred to Royal Preston Hospital for specialist treatment.
Officers said the dog’s owner was not arrested and agreed to hand the pet over to the police and a council dog warden to be put down.
Ivor Bould, chairman of Fleetwood Neighbourhood Watch, said: “Ever since the demolition of the high-rise flats in Blackpool people have moved down here and the number of dogs has trebled.
“It’s frightening because, looking at some of them, I’m not 100 per cent sure they’re not status symbols.”
The attack bears a resemblance to one that happened in South Shore last week, when mechanic Rob Lloyd warned ‘a child could be next’ after a husky-type dog attacked his chocolate Labrador.
Earlier this year, The Gazette revealed the number of people on the Fylde coast being admitted to hospital because of dog bites had rocketed, with 50 people in 12 months needing treatment.
Mr Bould added: “Something has to be done and it has to be done very urgently.”
It is illegal to let a dog ‘be dangerously out of control anywhere’, and dogs are considered dangerously out of control if they injury somebody or make someone worried they may injure them.
Allowing a dog to injury someone is punishable by up to five years in prison and an unlimited fine, while the dog could be seized and destroyed.
Last year, new powers to protect people against dog attacks were introduced, which allowed police and local authorities to demand owners take action or risk fines of up to £20,000.
If a complaint is made, officers can now order owners to attend dog training classes, muzzle their pet or keep it on a lead in public, require the dog to be micro chipped and to repair fencing to stop dogs getting out of gardens.
A police spokesman said: “This is a serious incident which has left somebody with a nasty injury.”