A TODDLER was left needing surgery after being attacked by a dog as he played in a Salisbury park at the weekend.

Natalie Kulwinska, 22, was with her three-year-old son Dominic in Elizabeth Gardens when the dog attacked the terrified boy, biting his forearm.

“I was completely shocked because I didn’t expect the dog would attack a child,” said Miss Kulwinska. “Dominic started shaking all over.”

An ambulance was called and the little boy was taken to Salisbury District Hospital where he was given a general aesthetic before doctors operated.

He stayed in hospital with his mother until Tuesday evening and has to go back tomorrow so medical staff can assess how well the wound is healing. “I’m worried there will be quite a big scar,” said Miss Kulwinska.

Witnesses say the man with the dog was aware of what happened but quickly left the park with the animal, which was a Staffordshire bull terrier or similar breed.

Miss Kulwinska, who lives in Wilton with her son and her boyfriend Martin, said: “When he saw Dominic’s arm he ran away in the opposite direction.

“I saw everything as it was happening and I’m blaming myself for not stopping that boy, but I was thinking about calling the ambulance. It was really horrible.”

Police say the man with the dog was aged between 17 and 19. He had fair or ginger hair and was wearing a dark blue t-shirt with the number nine on the back and jeans.

He was with two young women of a similar age. Both had dark coloured hair and were wearing dark, long sleeved tops.

The dog was dark brown in colour with a white chest and black stripes across its back.

Miss Kulwinska is appealing for people to come forward and speak to police to help prevent any other children going through what Dominic suffered.

“If that dog attacked our child it may do it again,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Jackie Allen at Salisbury Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.