A woman has spoken of her shock after a seafront dog attack left her needing hospital treatment.
Natasha Doran was walking along Littlehaven Beach when she was attacked by what she described as a pit bull.
The 20-year-old, who was with her own dogs at the time, was bitten on the back of her thigh after the dog jumped up in an unprovoked attack.
But instead of being faced with an apologetic owner, Natasha - who needed to attend South Tyneside District Hospital after being bitten - told the Gazette how the man ran off before driving away.
Police are now trying to trace the owner as Natahsa, from Broughton Road, said such an attack could have had potentially fatal consequences for a child.
She said: “It was over quicker and quieter than I imagined it would, but there were children holding their dogs just metres from me.
“A child doesn’t have the ability to hold their weight up, which would have been potentially fatal.
“Owning a temperamental dog is common, but it’s about being responsible with it.
“I will most definitely be carrying some nature of defence on my walks now.
“I want to warn others because he is still walking round until police find him.”
Natasha added: “I was out walking my dogs at the time, my two German Shepherds Oscar and Tess, and a Jack Russell cross, which I was also taking care of.
“I had two of them on a lead when a guy came around the corner with his three dogs - two Basset Hounds and a pit bull.
“The pit bull ran up and just latched onto the back of my thigh.
“I was trying not to scream and alert the other dogs, but I did shout at the man saying that his dog bit me.
“But he just ran off in the direction of the Littlehaven car park, got in his car and sped off.”
Natasha, who runs Tyne and Wear Pet Service which offers training for aggressive dogs, said luckily her job meant she knew what to do in such a situation.
She added: “When the three dogs ran over and I turned to shield my own dogs, I felt a sharp pain in my leg and twigged straight away what was happening.
“I maintained my upright position while it hung from my leg and didn’t turn round to look at it.
“In situations like this, it’s extremely important to try and stay calm when possible to avoid further injury or fuel the dog.
“I couldn’t move or shout out because I didn’t want to alarm my dog playing at a distance and by panicking it may have caused the other dogs to start fighting amongst themselves.”
Following Sunday’s attack, Natasha called the police before being taken to hospital, where she received a tetanus shot and antibiotics for two puncture wounds.
Police have urged any witnesses to come forward.
A Nothumbria Police spokeswoman said: “At 7.05pm on Sunday, April 2, police received a report that a woman had been bitten by a dog on Sea Road, South Shields.
“The dog was one of two being walked by a man, who left the scene in the direction of Haven Point following the incident.
“The victim received hospital treatment for two puncture wounds to her leg.
“The dog is described as small, brown and white in colour.
“Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information that may help to trace the owner should call 101 quoting reference 1112/02/04/1”