A TINY dog had an eye ripped out in a savage attack by a Staffordshire bull terrier, say its traumatised owners.

Bearwood couple Paul and Angela Carter have been left devastated by the attack on their two-year-old shih tzu, Sam, who needed emergency surgery after the attack on Sunday.

Mrs Carter, 50, said she and her husband had left their home in Runnymede Avenue at about 6.10pm to walk Sam on a nearby playing field.

“Sam was on a lead and the Staffordshire bull terrier wasn’t. It was growling and barking and ripping at Sam’s face and ripped his eye out.

“Time just stood still. Whether it was two minutes, or five minutes, I don’t know. It felt like a lifetime. I managed eventually to get Sam into my arms. The other dog was still clawing at us.

“The police rushed him to the PDSA’s emergency unit in Castle Lane West,” said Mrs Carter.

Paramedics took the couple to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital where they were treated for bites and scratches, she added.

“Both my husband and myself were injured trying to rescue Sam. The bull terrier bit my arm and I’ve got scratch marks on my stomach.

“My husband was X-rayed for broken bones. An infection went straight into his blood and his hand was totally swollen,” said Mrs Carter.

She said her normally “loving little dog” had been withdrawn since returning to the family home on Tuesday, and needed twice-daily doses of morphine.

“It was horrendous. I’m absolutely devastated, and so is my husband. I’m still in shock. I walked the dog this morning, but I couldn’t bear to walk that way,” said Mrs Carter.

A spokesman for Dorset Police confirmed that the alleged attack was under investigation.