A man has described the terrifying moment he saw his 10-year-old neighbour “tossed like a rag doll” by her family dog in Melbourne.
Jimmy Baird says he heard the girl’s screams for help from his Berwick home on Sunday night and ran to assist.
“(The dog was) totally going ballistic yeah,” he said.
“The dog was wild.
“The dog had lost the plot by that stage, totally lost the plot.”
The girl suffered serious injuries including bites and cuts and is believed to have lost an ear when attacked by the South African boerboel.
She remains at the Royal Children’s Hospital in a stable condition.
The 10-year-old victim and her seven-year-old sister had been left home alone with the two dogs while their mother and her boyfriend went to the gym.
Mr Baird says he tried to get to the girl through the family’s garage but the dog then turned on him.
Another neighbour managed to distract the dog at another window as the terrified seven-year-old watched on.
Mr Baird told Seven News the distraction allowed him enough time to pull the 10-year-old to safety.
“She was covered in dirt, leaves, blood, yeah, just in shock,” neighbour Kerrie Baird said.
It’s the second serious dog attack in a matter of days, after a one-year-old girl was mauled to death by a Rottweiler in Inverell in regional NSW on Saturday.
According to Seven News, both dogs at the Berwick property were unregistered, with previous complaints including one for biting a person.
The council on Monday revealed they had been called to the family’s property before and have previously issued four infringements to the dogs' owner.
Council officers attended the property in December following reports that a dog, described as similar to a bullmastiff, acted aggressively towards a woman jogging past.
"Following an investigation, it was deemed the incident was not serious enough to trigger seizure of the dog," the council said in a statement.
Mr Baird says he’s just glad he and the other neighbours were able to rally together and pull the 10-year-old to safety.
“I don’t think I’m a hero, we’re neighbours and I’d like to think someone would do the same for me,” he said.
The dog was put down by council rangers on Monday afternoon, while the second dog remains in council care.
This article originally appeared on The West Australian.