A MOTHER was forced to run for safety with her three-month-old baby after her dog was attacked while they were out walking.

Anna Stafford went out for her usual walk with her cocker spaniel Nelson and baby Rupert, at about 11am on Monday, November 26 in Ashford Close, Fordingbridge.

She said: "All of a sudden a dog ran out of one of the properties. It just went for Nelson and locked jaws around him."

Someone ran out of the house and tried to pull the dog off of the four-year-old spaniel.

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Anna says she ran, looking for somewhere to hide, and saw the pitbull-type dog attack Nelson once again. Anna says the dog went for him three times.

"I had to think about the safety of my baby. I ran into a ladies house for safety and called the police, she said.

"All the neighbours did all they could to free Nelson."

She said: "I thought he had been killed and I could see him dragging the dog around like a toy.

"It was horrifying. There was nothing I could do."

She said the attack lasted about 10 to 15 minutes and that while running away to safety she fell over. Her son sustained a small graze to his head and was seen by paramedics at the scene.

"I was so upset," said Anna. "Nelson was rushed off to the vet for emergency surgery and was stitched up."

Nelson was able to come home later that day.

Anna says despite having wounds on his ears, throat and neck he is in "good spirits".

"It could have been a whole lot worse than it was," she added.

"I walk down that road every day. It was just so unexpected, this dog just running out and attacking him. It was just a vicious attack - it was horrible."

"I don't know if I'll ever walk down that road again," she said.

"My worst nightmare happened. I still keep reliving it, the dog running out and Nelson screaming in pain.

She thanked everyone who came to her aid.

She says the owners have apologised for what happened.

But Anna fears the dog could attack again.

Hampshire Constabulary say officers were called to the incident at about 11.15am.

A dog behaviour contract has been issued to the owner of the Pitbull cross Staffordshire Bull Terrier.