A woman and her Shcnauzer-Poodle were attacked by an “out of control” dog as they left their Darlington home.

Police are investigating the incident, believed to involve a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which happened shortly after 3pm on Wednesday, October 18 on Milbank Road in Darlington.

The dog reportedly bit the woman on her shoulder and latched onto her black Schnauzer-Poodle cross Charlie in the sustained attack lasting five minutes.

It was only when a passer-by, who the victim has now hailed a hero, managed to break off the dog, that the attack ended.

The Schnauzer-Poodle required complex surgery and the woman went to Darlington Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Police are now investigating.

The victim’s husband, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Echo: “My wife’s traumatised by it because it was quite a sustained attack. She was bit on the shoulder and suffered some quite heavy bruising.

“Our dog has had to have surgery at the vets and they said she was really lucky.

“The bottom line is if that man hadn’t been there, I think it would have been a very different story. It took three people five minutes to get the dog off, it was out of control.

“She was never able to make contact with the passerby who did most of the work. In the chaos of the moment she was unable to thank the him for his courageous effort which undoubtedly prevented a much more serious and potentially fatal outcome.”

They would now like to thank the passer-by in person.

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If you are the man in question, or believe you know him, please contact newsdesk@nne.co.uk or daniel.hordon@newsquest.co.uk.

Durham Constabulary said in a statement: “Police were called on Wednesday, October 18 to reports of an incident involving two dogs in Darlington.

“It is believed the victim was leaving her address when another dog approached them and bit the owner and the owner’s dog.

“An investigation is now ongoing.”