A small dog was savagely attacked in Oxhey Park on Thursday.

The eight-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Abbey, was walking with her owners, June and Holly Stapleton, of Pinner Road, Oxhey.

At about 1pm, as they were leaving the park and walking onto Eastbury Road, a large tan and white dog, believed to be an American Bulldog cross, attacked Abbey.

June, 57, said they had walked around the corner when they heard a scream. As they turned around they saw the animal bounding towards them, lead trailing, without an owner.

June said: "The dog pulled us both down. There was blood everywhere and it had our dog in its mouth."

Abbey, who weighs about six kilograms, sustained multiple injuries, including broken ribs, chest cavity damage, cuts on her head and puncture marks all over her body.

June and Account Assistant, Holly, 22, said they passed the large dog as they were leaving the park.

Holly said the dog had pink markings on its face, and was originally with a young man and woman, in their late teens or early twenties, but no owner came to help at the time of the attack.

Stood near a lane of traffic, June said: "I was shouting ‘someone help’ when a man and a woman got out of their cars."

While the man restrained the dog, June and Holly got into the lady’s car with Abbey and headed to Blythwood Vets, Pinner.

Holly said: "The vet said she was lucky to be alive. She was a bloody mess.

"They usually don’t operate when the dog is in shock, but they had to. They were worried her lung was going to collapse, and even after surgery, they didn’t give her a chance to make it through the night."

June was also injured in the attack and had to go to Mount Vernon Hospital for treatment of her left hand.

She said: "Blood was seeping through my glove and there was blood everywhere."

Abbey went home from the vets on Friday afternoon.

But mother and daughter said she is not out of the woods yet, and they are concerned that, even if she does recover, she will be scarred emotionally.

Recalling the incident, June said: "We have been having nightmares about it. Just talking about it is making me shake."

Both June and Holly want to thank the man and woman who came to their aid, but are unable to contact them because they do not have their details.

June added: "If it was not for them our dog would be dead, there is no doubt about it."

The owners are described as a man with cropped dark hair and the woman with dark red/brown hair which was worn in a ponytail. She was wearing a long dark coat with a hood, possibly with a fur trim.

PC Chloe Taylor, said: “Two people stopped to help the woman and took her and her dog to the vets. As yet we haven’t spoken with these people and I am keen to trace them. If this was you please contact me.

“I would also like to appeal to anyone who saw what happened or who can offer any assistance in identifying the two people described to contact police.”

Anyone with information contact Herts Police on 101 quoting crime reference number C1/13/932. Alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.