An eight-year-old Huntingdon girl could be permanently scarred after she was attacked by a dog as she played with her friends.

The horror unfolded on Saturday afternoon when the dog pounced on Isha Zulquarnain, of Tomlinson Court, ripping her clothes and throwing her around in the air. The little girl, a pupil at Thongsley Primary School, suffered five puncture wounds to her lower body and part of her left ear has been torn as the dog sunk its teeth into her repeatedly as she lay screaming on the ground. A man walking past the playing field, on Thames Road, managed to pull the dog off Isha, who has been traumatised by the attack and is suffering nightmares. He freed her from the dog's jaws, scooped her up off the ground and ran with her in his arms to her home 300 yards away and handed her to her mum Atia.

The mother-of-eight told The Hunts Post she was shocked to see her daughter, one of twin girls, bleeding heavily and crying in pain and she immediately phoned for an ambulance.

"Her clothes were in pieces and there was blood everywhere, I was so shocked that I almost fainted," she said.

"The man who brought her home said the dog was off its lead and it chased Isha and pounced on her. She tried to get up and run away but it pinned her down and kept biting her."

An ambulance crew took Isha to Hinchingbrooke Hospital where she was treated for her injuries and prescribed a course of antibiotics. She came home later the same day, but she could suffer scarring as a result of her injuries.

Although Isha survived the ordeal, Atia believes the dog, thought to be a husky breed, would have killed her daughter had the passer-by not been there.

"I don't know the name of the man but I would like him to get in touch so that I can say 'thank you' as I honestly believe he saved Isha's life. He said the dog just didn't want to let go of her and now she is so frightened that she won't go out and she can't sleep."

Most of the homes in Thames Road and Tomlinson Court are owned by Luminus and a representative from the housing association's anti-social behaviour team has visited Atia and Isha to find out what happened and to offer reassurance.

In a statement, Luminus said: "We are working closely with the police and we will take action against the dog owner if our investigation shows that they have been at fault. Luminus' tenancy agreements state that dog owners must make sure they keep their pets under control so that they do not disturb, annoy or be a nuisance or a danger to neighbours or to visitors to the property. It also states that owners must provide adequate fencing so that the dog cannot get out of their garden."

Cambridgeshire police have confirmed that they were called by the ambulance service at 2.30pm on Saturday and they are investigating the incident and have arranged to speak to the owner of the dog. Police have powers to prosecute anyone who allows a dog to be out of control in a public place.