A PET lover suffered horrific facial injuries after being mauled by a dog tied up outside a Stafford supermarket.
Tracey Crowe had a chunk of flesh ripped from beneath her eye and may be permanently scarred from the attack which happened outside Silkmore Co-op.
The 47-year-old community care worker is relieved the dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, did not attack a child and is calling for regulations on pets being left untended outside shops.
She said: “I got my trolley and saw the dog tied up outside. It looked up at me and wagged its tail, looking friendly and apparently asking for a fuss.
“I leaned down slightly and went to pet it when it suddenly jumped up and sank its teeth deep into my face.
“The wound was pouring with blood as I made my way into the shop and a woman I passed got some kitchen roll.
“The manager then came out and got a chair for me and another lady helped me to keep pressure on the wound.”
The store manager stopped everyone leaving the premises and eventually found the dog’s owner.
Mrs Crowe said the owner told her he was “very surprised” and described his pet as “usually very friendly’.
Silkmore resident Mrs Crowe said: “I’m a dog lover but I’ll certainly think twice before even petting a dog again after what has happened.
“Had it been a couple of inches higher it would’ve taken my eye out. I was in hospital several hours for treatment.
“If a child had been within range or tried to pet it, the situation could have been a lot worse.
“That, and the fact I could be permanently scarred, was on my mind almost instantly after it happened.”
The victim spent three hours being treated at Stafford Hospital after the attack, which happened last Wedenesday at 5pm.
She has also been signed off work and will have to take anti-biotics to fight infection.
However, she does not believe Staffordshire Bull Terriers are inherently dangerous.
She said: “My mum’s got two Staffies and they’re very docile and affectionate.
“I just think there should be restrictions on leaving dogs alone outside shops and will be looking for compensation for the trauma and loss of work earnings I’ve suffered.”
A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said inquiries into the incident are ongoing.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact PC Barnett at Staffordshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 674 of February 27. Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
A spokesperson from Midlands Co- operative Society said: "Unfortunately, a customer was harmed as she bent down to pet a dog which had been secured by its owner outside our food store at Silkmore Lane on Wednesday, 27 February.
“The safety and wellbeing of our customers is of the utmost importance to us and the store manager worked quickly to call paramedics to tend to the customer.
"We respect our customers' wishes to secure their dogs outside our store when shopping with us, but simply ask that they make an informed decision on whether this is likely to pose any risk towards other customers or to the dog. It is the responsibility of a dog owner to ensure that their dog appropriately in public."