Shakeisha Vowell was left with bloody wounds to her leg after a dog attack
Shakeisha Vowell, 10, was left with bloody wounds to her leg after the dog attacked her as she enjoyed Easter holiday activities with her mother.
Her horrified mum, Jade Douglas, watched as the dog, believed to be a Belgium Shepherd, grabbed the little girl's leg with its teeth – and she desperately tried to wrench it free from the animal's jaws.
Describing her daughter as "screaming for her life," the traumatised mum recalled: "Shakeisha had been jumping in and out of the water enjoying herself.
"When she finished playing she started putting on her shoes when suddenly this huge dog came up and grabbed her.
I tried shoving a sandwich in its mouth in an attempt to distract it but it was holding her leg too hard
"It was absolutely awful – she was screaming for her life. I started hitting the dog, swearing and screaming at it, trying to rip it from my daughter.
"I tried shoving a sandwich in its mouth in an attempt to distract it but it was holding her leg too hard."
The pair had been enjoying a girly day out in the sunshine at Vallis Vale, Somerset, an ancient woodland deemed a Site of Special Scientific Interest, when their peaceful afternoon was brutally interrupted.
An enormous dark-haired dog began to circle Shakeisha as she pulled on her trainers after splashing in a stream, and initially the little girl, who grew up with a pet dog, was unafraid.
Shakeisha Vowell and her mother Jade Douglas before the dog attack
But the animal began to circle her and eventually lunged for her shoe, sinking its teeth into her leg and refusing to let go.
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As Shakeisha screamed in agony, her mum yelled for the owner, who had walked on unaware of what was happening, to fetch his dog.
The man tried to wrestle the dog free, tempting it with a sandwich which it ignored, and Ms Douglas stamped and kicked in a bid to distract it from her daughter's leg.
She said: "I thought it was going to have her leg off.
Shakeisha Vowell playing in the water shortly before the dog attack
"The owner had gone past us once, and the dog had come over while the owner was walking with a couple of people.
"Shakeisha was pulling on her trainer and it tried to grab her shoe, we didn't think anything bad initially but then we were running in circles and calling to the owner 'come and get your dog'."
After 10 minutes of horror, Ms Douglas tipped a cold bottle of squash into the dog's eyes and it released Shakeisha, who hobbled away despite the gaping holes in her leg.
Ms Douglas said: "She ran off not even realising the state of her leg.
"All this blood and fat and tissue was hanging out, she's been in hospital for a couple of days."
An ambulance rushed Shakeisha to hospital, where doctors warned she made need skin grafts to repair the damage, and kept her in overnight at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, Somerset.
Her mother said: "It didn't want to let go of her leg, it got the taste of blood.
"People need to keep their dogs on leads. People go down there for picnics and family walks, it is not just for dogs.
"She's got crutches and a massive bandage, her leg is very swollen and they are letting stuff drain out of it."
The brave primary school pupil was haunted by night terrors after the attack and frequently woke up screaming, her mum said.
Ms Douglas added: "It has ruined her Easter holidays, she's supposed to be going trampolining and on Easter egg hunts. Now she is having night terrors."
"She is waking up screaming 'don't let them kill me' and it's absolutely heartbreaking."
The 29-year-old believed the dog would have butchered a younger child and had been told by police the animal had since been put down as the owner had a young child.
She added: "Watching the dog with her leg in its mouth is the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed.
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"I can't get the images out of my head. I honestly thought the dog, which looked like some sort of beast, was going to take her leg off.
A spokesman for South Western Ambulance said: "We received a call to an incident at Vallis Vale at 4.10pm. There was one female casualty with a leg injury.
"We attended with one ambulance. The casualty was taken to the RUH in Bath for treatment."
Avon and Somerset Constabulary has been contacted for comment.
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: "A child (aged 10) was bitten on Sunday at Hapsford Hill, Great Elm in Frome.
Shakeisha Vowell has undergone surgery for her leg injury
"She was on the riverside, where she had been paddling.
"The dog went towards the child and bit her, causing cuts and bruising.
"She was taken to the RUH, where she has undergone surgery.
"We are looking into the background to the incident and our enquiries are continuing.
"The dog was put to sleep following the incident.
"The matter is being dealt with by district officers who have met with the family and taken a statement.
"Police enquiries are continuing into the incident."