A SIX-year-old boy was left needing stitches after being knocked off his bike and mauled by a dog in Brighton Hill on Tuesday.

Lucas Nicholls had been out with his family riding his bike in the park behind Asda when a Staffordshire Bull Terrier attacked him.

The hound grabbed the child leaving cuts to his neck and right hand as well as gashes to his collarbone which required stitches. Many of the images of Lucas’ injuries were too graphic for the Gazette to publish.

The dog's owner, a 29-year-old woman, was arrested and the animal was seized by police. 

Describing the attack, his mother Rusty Putt, 29, said: “He jumped up and left Lucas on the floor and that was it. It happened so quick.

“By the time I got over there, which was only two seconds away, he had his hand in the dog’s mouth.”

Rusty said a “random” man then intervened to pull the dog off Lucas, and a nearby policeman who happened to be in the area called for back-up.

However when Rusty called for an ambulance she was told they were understaffed and that she would have to make her own way to the hospital.

The care worker was forced to carry Lucas back to their house, along with her other two children, before driving to Basingstoke Hospital.

Luckily kind-hearted passersby were on hand to help.

Rusty said: “I had a lot of people helping me keep him warm, and keeping the pressure on him. They were very, very helpful.”

Once they were at the hospital, Rusty said the staff were “amazing” though they had to wait to be seen. The schoolboy needed stitches for a gash on his collarbone while the rest of his wounds were treated.

The dog, believed to be a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, was taken away by police and is currently with the dog warden.

Rusty said: “It was long process and very upsetting for Lucas but we got through it.”

Rusty described the dog as being quite small and around six months old, and that its size made the attack all the more surprising.

She said: “It’s difficult because you don’t expect a dog that size to go over there and do that.”

Her message to other parents is not to trust any dog - big or small.

Posting a warning to Facebook, she said: “This dog needs to be put down and it’s all down to the owner for not having it on a lead.”

Despite what happened, Rusty does not blame the animal. She said: “It wasn’t aggressive to anyone else, not even the man that pulled him off.”

A spokesmand for Hampshire Police said: "We are appealing for witnesses and information after a six year old boy sustained injuries after being bitten by a dog in a Basingstoke park.

"The incident occurred at around 4.45pm on Tuesday, August 13, in the park off Brighton Way.

"The boy received injuries to his face, neck and hand. He was treated in hospital but the wounds are not believed to be life threatening.

"The dog has been seized by police and remains in secure kennels and the owner, a 29 year old female, was arrested. She has since been de-arrested but will be questioned by police in due course.

"Were you in the park around this time? Did you see or hear anything – if you can help, please get in touch by calling 101 and quoting reference 44190286902."