POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a dog and his owner were bitten by a pit bull-type terrier dog on Preston beach.
Alfie, a yellow Labrador, needed seven stitches and owner Mike King suffered four puncture wounds to both hands as he tried to prise the white terrier dog's jaws open.
Mr King, of Blatchcombe Road, Paignton, believes the attack dog may be one of the banned breeds of pit bull. Alfie needed £400 of surgery.
The owner of the white terrier gave wrong contact details to Mr King.
A police statement said Mr King 'was attacked by a white pit bull type' terrier dog on Preston Sands beach.
"The eight-year-old Labrador sustained serious injuries which necessitated a vet call out and surgery.
"The male owner tried to get the terrier off his dog and, in the process, sustained puncture wounds to his hands.
"The owner of the terrier gave the Labrador owner his details but, unfortunately, they appear incorrect."
Police issued a description of the terrier dog's owner. The man in his late 20s, of chunky build, 5ft 9ins tall, with dark brown, cropped hair. He was wearing a striped polo shirt and jeans. He told the injured man that his name was Gary.
Mr King described the night of the attack: "The pit bull-type dog went up to Alfie and clamped on to his ear and ripped all his inner ear open.
"I had to pull the dog off and I got bit on both my hands. There are four puncture wounds where the teeth went in.
"There was blood everywhere and I had to have a tetanus jab afterwards. It was a very savage dog. It should have been muzzled. What if this had happened to a child?
"There was another woman on the beach at the time with her dog who witnessed it all and spoke to me after the incident.
"Since it happened he has been shaking in his sleep. He was clearly distressed. He is a softie."
Anybody with information is asked to contact PC Celia Hammond on the police non-emergency number quoting crime reference number FP/13/102.