AN afternoon walk with her two dogs on Russell Island's Sandy Beach last Thursday became a nightmare for island resident Janelle Campbell when a pack of larger dogs suddenly attacked her three-year-old Maltese shih tzu, Archie, and six-year-old spoodle, Lexi, who subsequently required emergency surgery.
Janelle said she was walking her dogs on leashes at about 4pm when two large dogs appeared through nearby bushes and charged.
"They were on us in an instant," she said.
"They were barking, biting and attacking.
"A third dog joined in and they had us circled."
Janelle said a fourth dog then joined the pack, barking but not attacking.
She said she screamed for help while trying to stop the attack.
"A man and woman then came - they were the dog's owners - and pulled the larger two off us," she said.
"I was in such a panic. I picked up my dogs and ran to my car. I just wanted to get them to safety."
Janelle said Lexi had bite wounds that required emergency surgery and overnight veterinary care.
"I found the next day that I also had bites on me, but in my panic and rush to get Lexi to the mainland for care, I didn't notice at the time," she said.
Redlands Veterinary Clinic vet Katria Lovell said Lexi had suffered a severe neck laceration that was consistent with having been picked up and shaken by a larger dog.
"The tissue surrounding the puncture was also severely bruised," Katria said.
"People often don't realise that a dog's jaws can be like lockjaw and once they lock on, it's almost impossible to pry them off.
"We treat several emergency injuries like this every weekend.
"It's a big problem across the bayside area and in most cases the offending dogs are off the leash."
Janelle said she had reported the incident to Redland City Council and she called for dog owners to keep their dogs on leashes in public areas.
The council is investigating the alleged dog attack and a spokesman said while council was unable to comment on the incident until the investigation was complete, "council reminds all dog owners in the Redlands that dogs must be registered and properly controlled on a leash when in public, unless in a designated dog-off-leash area".