Brave neighbours had to fight off an American pit bull with an iron bar in a bid to stop a frenzied attack on its female owner outside her home in Australia last week.
The dog, which is thought to be the same size as a 'miniature pony', launched an attack on its owner at her home in the south of Sydney on September 10.
Neighbours said the American Staffordshire Terrier, reported to weigh more than 80kg, had torn at her face in the alarming attack on Friday morning.
It was reported that the dog turned on the woman's daughter and her two neighbours as they tried to save her – which saw the dog attack a second woman and rip flesh off her bone before it turned on another man who tried to intervene.
Her neighbours beat the vicious dog with an iron bar and stabbed it to stop it from killing its 54-year-old owner who had suffered from severe bite wounds, reports Daily Mail Australia.
Ambulance crews arrived at the scene to find two women seriously injured at the home, while the man was left with minor injuries.
Local Anthony Dennis said he heard sirens as crews flocked to the scene before a helicopter landed at the property.
"The worst attack was on the older woman who had facial injuries and they airlifted her to a Sydney hospital," he told Daily Mail Australia.
"While they were trying to get the dog off that woman, someone was hitting the dog with a metal bar. It must have been a harrowing incident for everyone."
He added: "My wife had walked past the property recently and they were pretty excitable dogs. A lot of people have hunting dogs around here.
"I don't know if this dog was, but any breed which is territorial and capable of inflicting serious injury on people shouldn't be in a family home."
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One of the neighbours, who asked to remain anonymous, said she stabbed the dog with a knife after it latched onto the victim's upper thigh.
"The bite was down to the bone, I could see the tendons," she described to The Sunday Telegraph.
She warned a female police officer to be careful as she arrived to the scene of the incident – but when the officer looked for the dog it had disappeared, she said.
The 54-year-old woman was airlifted to hospital, while her daughter was driven to the hospital shortly after.
It was reported that the dog was then detained by a ranger who had been sent out by Wollondilly Shire Council.
The council have since confirmed that the owner gave permission to euthanise the dog due to the severity of the attack.
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NSW Ambulance Inspector Gavin Wood commented: "Both women suffered horrific bite wounds over large parts of their bodies and were transported to hospital in a serious condition.
"It was a confronting scene but paramedics did a fantastic job treating the injured patients before they were taken to hospital."
It comes just two months after a five-week-old baby was mauled to death by another pit bull back in July.
Health professionals have since called on authorities to ban American Staffordshire Terriers before anyone else is severely hurt or killed.
Leading Sydney vet Dr Sam Kovac, 32, said he doesn't want existing terriers euthanised – but wants to see an immediate ban on selling, breeding, importing or rehoming the breed.
"This latest attack is just history repeating," he told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday.
"Most of the time they won't be killers. But when you're dealing with such a powerful breed that's been bred to fight and kill, when they really want to do this, nobody can do anything to fend them off.
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"They should not be allowed to be bred in this country.
"Ninety per cent of the time, they're fine.
"But in that very small percentage, if they decide that they want to go after and kill a baby or a human like this horrible case where they were mauled to the bone, no one can stop them."
He added: "I just checked online and there are literally hundreds of puppies for sale on Gumtree for American Staffordshire Terriers. Rescue shelters are full of them too.
"A proportion of them are going to go to people who don't know how to train them and look after this very exuberantly powerful breed – and encourage some of their bad character traits.
"If they decide to do what they were bred for, and that's to guard or to kill, then the outcome can be disastrous."
Dr Kavoc, who runs three Southern Vet Clinics in Sydney, said he previously spoke out about the topic in July but his pleas fell on deaf ears.
"Nobody's contacted me officially about it," said Dr Kovac who owns a Corgi.
"But I really do think it would be good to have a national open conversation about these breeds."
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