A nine-year-old girl has undergone plastic surgery after being mauled by a Japanese Akita dog in Bradford.

She was walking to a shop when she was dragged to the ground and badly bitten on her forearm. It is believed she also suffered a lesser facial wound.

The incident happened in Broadstone Way, Holme Wood, after the Akita is understood to have pulled away from its handler. Witnesses said the handler ran off with the dog after the attack.

Staff at the Co-operative store in Broadstone Way took the injured girl inside and looked after her while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

One worker, who did not want to be named, said: “It was a disgusting incident that should not have happened. The young girl had simply walked past the dog which was on a lead.”

A man, who described himself as a relative of the girl, said he had seen pictures of her injuries, including a bite to her lip.

Another woman said she was told the Akita’s handler ran off afterwards.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, said: “The Akita is the only dog of its kind living on the street and it is well-known by local residents. It is an angry dog and out of control.”

West Yorkshire Police obtained a warrant under the Dangerous Dogs Act and officers seized an Akita from a property in Broadstone Way. A police spokesman said: “We were called to Broadstone Way to reports of a dog attack involving a Japanese Akita on a nine-year-old girl walking to the shops.

“It is believed the Akita had pulled away from its handler. The girl was taken to BRI with an injury to her left forearm requiring plastic surgery.

“We obtained a warrant under the Dangerous Dogs Act and seized the dog. Inquiries are ongoing.”

It is understood that an application could be made to have the dog destroyed.

Tong councillors condemned the attack. Councillor Michael Johnson (Lab) said: “I am appalled to hear that the dog handler didn’t stay to help the child.” Councillor Alan Wainwright (Lab) reminded owners to keep dogs under control.

Police yesterday appealed for any witnesses to the attack, which took place on Sunday at 1.25pm, to call 101 for the attention of PC 4217 Finders.

e-mail: jessica.nightingale@telegraphandargus.co.uk