A WOMAN and her dog were attacked by two Japanese fighting dogs on a canal towpath.

Jean Harris was left bleeding and shaken on the ground after two large akita dogs attacked her lhasa apso, Pennie, near the canal between Pendle Village Mill and Clitheroe Road, Brierfield.

The 64-year-old said the first large dog came from around a corner behind her and charged towards the pair.

She tried to pick her pet up but the dog bit Pennie and would not let go.

She said: “The dog was shaking her like mad.

“Another dog came from the same way and started attacking.

“The dogs managed to get the lead collar off and were attacking Pennie.

“One of the dogs pulled me to the ground. The first dog bit me on the hand and it was really painful.”

Mrs Harris said a group of men ran up to her and tried to get the dogs off her.

When the dogs were separated, the men ran away with the two akitas and left Mrs Harris on the ground by the towpath in the incident on Sunday at 7pm

Mrs Harris said she managed to call for her daughter, Sarah Brown, who rang an ambulance.

She said she spent five hours in A&E and required tetanus jabs, painkillers, antibiotics and an X-ray.

She said: “It was absolutely awful. These dogs looked like guard dogs, not your average pet. Pennie has really suffered because of this and has had stitches.

“She’s become really scared and won’t go out for long walks.

“When she does she stops a lot and looks around.”

Akitas are powerful dogs which characteristically are affectionate to family members and owners, but aloof with strangers.

Up to the late 1950s the akita was used for dog fighting as well as boar, deer and bear-hunting.

They are known for their height and males can weigh up to 60kg.

Mrs Harris said: “I’m glad I had Pennie on a leash because when she’s not she lags behind and I wouldn’t have seen the attack coming.

“I’m still struggling to open my hand properly since the attack.

“One of the men briefly stopped to see if I was okay but he soon left.

“The other men just left me there, unable to move and in complete shock.”

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm it was reported and we are investigating.

“Anyone with information about the dogs involved or their owners can call us on 101 quoting reference 1344 of May 5.”