A horrified man burst into action punching a dog on the head to defend his own pet as it sunk its teeth into her neck.

"Soft-natured" Irish red setter Holly, was savaged almost to death by an incensed Staffie-type dog which left her needing life-saving surgery.

Brian Ross, 61, was with his partner Deborah walking across football pitches in Aberdeen on Sunday when a devil dog mauled their beloved Holly at around 5.30pm.

The couple said Brian's attempts to beat the raging beast off three-year-old Holly were in vain, as it only clamped down harder, squeezing blood out of her neck.

He told the Daily Record: "We often go down to the football pitches just near where we stay and we're always quite nervous when other dogs are around as she's quite jumpy.

"We seen dogs to the left of the field so we decided to go to the opposite side. Our dog was on the lead – she's always on the lead.

"Out of the blue, we saw the dog – like a Staffie cross – come running down. Deborah tried to get the dog at the back of her legs but the dog flew at her and got her neck.

The 61-year-old tried to get the dog to release its jaws from Holly but as it squeezed tighter, blood began pouring from her neck.

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He continued: "Holly was howling and squealing.

"I was down on my hand and knees hitting the dog on the head trying to get it to release but it wouldn’t let go.

"Deborah was absolutely distraught while this was going on – she thought Holly was going to die in front of us.

"When I saw the blood coming from her neck and the dog still had a grip I panicked even more. It was a scary experience."

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Holly was immediately rushed to the emergency vets after the horror attack and had to undergo surgery on her neck.

She is currently at home recovering but isn't out of the woods yet, and her owners say she hasn’t been herself since.

Brian claims the alleged owner of the dog, who appeared to be accompanied by a male friend, initially showed concern when she arrived but became defensive when the couple told her they would be contacting the police.

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Cops are currently probing the attack and are trying to trace the female owner who is described as between 20 and 30 years of age, of heavy build, with long dark hair and a tattoo of a clock on her left arm.

Brain added: "Holly is part of the family and she's very soft-natured.

"She might survive the attack but what will that do to her around other dogs?

"My worry is what if it had been an even smaller dog or a kid?

"To have a dog like that not on a lead is unacceptable."

Inspector Gillian Donald is appealing for information and said: "This incident has caused the owners of the red setter great distress.

"The dog has undergone treatment for a serious neck injury and is currently doing well. I would ask anyone who witnessed this incident or who has any information about the incident or the owner of the bull terrier to contact police."

Anyone with information on the incident is being urged to contact police on 101, quoting crime reference number CF0131910621.

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