A man was taken to hospital after being attacked by a dog on Weymouth beach.
The man had rushed to rescue his own dog, which had been grabbed around the neck by a Staffordshire bull terrier.
Dorset Police are investigating the incident and a spokeswoman for the force said the man, aged 53, was treated at Dorset County Hospital.
Colin Sparrow was also walking his dog at the beach when the attack happened.
He bravely helped the dog owner to separate the animals.
Mr Sparrow described the attack as ‘horrific’.
He said: “We were quite a way behind when I saw this Staffie running up and grab this other dog around the neck.
“There were four Staffies altogether and they were running loose.
“The people who were walking with them had children as well, who were screaming at what was happening.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The dog owner was seen to by paramedics at the scene and later taken to Dorset County Hospital.
Mr Sparrow said ambulance staff also cared for the injured dog before he was seen by a vet.
He said: “It was nice to see that. They really went above and beyond.”
He added: “As a dog owner myself, it was really shocking to see. Staffies can be lovely dogs but you need to know how to handle them.
“You can’t just take them as a pack onto the beach like that.
“Children witnessed what happened. They must have been terrified.”
A Dorset Police spokeswoman said: “We received a call from a member of the public at just after 8pm on Tuesday.
A man had been bitten by a dog on the beach and a number of dogs were off the lead.
“The matter is being investigated and no arrests have been made.”
Any witnesses are asked to call Dorset Police on 101.
A spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council said the matter had not been referred to the dog warden.
Borough councillor and deputy mayor of Weymouth and Portland Kate Wheller said the incident illustrates why she put forward a notice of motion to ban dogs from the beach in the summer.
Under the current Dog Exclusion Order, dogs are allowed on the beach between October and April. In summer, they can be taken on to the dog exercise area at the Pavilion end of the beach.
But under Cllr Wheller’s proposal, there would be a blanket ban on taking dogs onto the beach from April 1 to October 31.
Councillors are due to discuss the matter at the next policy development committee meeting in April. Cllr Wheller said: “It seems that people are just not keeping their dogs in check as much anymore, and it’s something we can’t ignore.”
INCIDENT FOLLOWS MAULING
THE attack comes just days after a baby was mauled to death by a dog in Blackburn, Lancashire.
Ava Jayne Corless was upstairs in bed when the attack took place on Monday evening. Two people – Ava’s mother and her partner – have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
The dog, believed to be an illegal pit bull-type dog, was destroyed.