A PET Chihuahua is lucky to be alive after it was savagely attacked by two pit bull-type dogs and almost "ripped to shreds".

Tilly, a long-haired Chihuahua owned by 19-year-old Libby Perry, was being walked by Miss Perry's grandad Steven on Friday, July 13, when she was attacked in Cawdor Street, Farnworth.

Seven-year-old Tilly attempted to get away and her grandad let go of the lead to allow her to escape.

Miss Perry, who was at work at the time, said: "She was trying to run away but they picked her up and took her around the corner. She was on the lead but my grandad had let go of the lead to give her a chance to get away.

"There were screeches and everyone was coming out of their houses and they all ran over to the dogs and tried to get them off her.

"They managed to get the dogs off and Tilly was just covered in blood and saliva. A man with a van picked her up and took her and my grandad to the vets."

Tilly was rushed to the Animal Trust in Lower Bridgeman Street where she was kept in intensive care in an oxygen chamber.

The bites from the attacking dogs had pierced her chest cavity and she was bleeding internally.

Miss Perry, a carer from Farnworth, said: "I was working at the time and I got the call off my nan who told me Tilly had been rushed to the vets because she had been attacked by two dogs.

"I just burst out crying. I went to see her straight away after work and I was just constantly on the phone to the vets and visiting to check up on her."

Tilly was kept at the vets for three days before she was taken home. It cost £800 to pay for her care.

Miss Perry said: "She was just in shock and she was struggling to breathe.

"As soon as I saw her I just cried. She had puncture wounds all over her and all of the stitches.

"She had basically been ripped to shreds and almost cut in half."

Since the incident, Tilly has been struggling to move around and gets anxious whenever she is close to another dog.

Miss Perry said the dogs had been described to her as pit bull terriers, which are an illegal breed in the UK, and that they were "on the loose" at the time with no sign of the owner.

The police were called on the day of the incident and, according to Miss Perry, officers went to area to search for them.

But after a fruitless search, they told Miss Perry that there was nothing they could do.

Miss Perry said: "It was just a very, very hard and stressful time. It has mentally scarred her as well. She won't go where it happened and when she sees another dog she will growl and get really defensive.

"At the end of the day, Tilly is my baby but that could have been a child and it was just really getting me down. I am telling people what happened.

"This was not normal dog fighting. It was just so severe, she really should not be alive. This could have been another dog or a person."

Greater Manchester Police have been contacted for a comment.